Notable Diverse Alumni

The Law School has a long history of access and opportunity, and its 120-year legacy is interwoven with the journeys and accomplishments of its students and faculty. Almost immediately after the law school opened in 1899, our alumni were trailblazing new opportunities and accomplishing "firsts" across the legal landscape. We want to share a few of our notable and diverse alum to highlight their stories. They not only made significant contributions to the legal profession, but they also made significant contributions to our communities and our nation. We hope their stories inspire you.

James Randle (1904)

James Randle (1904)
First Black Graduate

William E. Rodriguez (1912)

William E. Rodriguez (1912)
First Hispanic Graduate

Pearl Hart (1914)

Pearl Hart (1914)
“Guardian Angel of Chicago’s Gay Community”

Edith Sampson (1925)

Edith Sampson (1925)
First Black U.S. Delegate to the U.N.
First Black Woman Elected Judge in the U.S.

Martha Cardwell (1927)

Martha Cardwell (1927)
Women’s Rights Activist

Euclid Taylor

Euclid Taylor
First Black Lawyer to Teach at JMLS

Paul Davis Newey (1940)

Paul Davis Newey (’40)
Among the First Law Students of Arab Descent

Shelley Da Costa ('41)

Shelley Da Costa (’41)
Author of the John Marshall School Song

Chauncey Eskridge ('49)

Chauncey Eskridge (’49)
Associate Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County

Rep. Charles Armstrong ('51)

Rep. Charles Armstrong (’51)
Democrat, 22nd District
Illinois House of Representatives (1957-1965)

Hon. Charles Freeman ('62)

Hon. Charles Freeman (’62)
First Black Justice & Black Chief Justice
Illinois Supreme Court

Ralla Klepak ('64)

Ralla Klepak (’64)
LGBTQ Ally & Activist

M. Cherif Bassiouni (LLM '66)

Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni (LLM ’66)
“Father of International Criminal Law”

Hon. Timothy Evans ('69)

Hon. Timothy Evans (’69)
First Black Chief Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County

Hon. Cheryl Cesario ('81)

Hon. Cheryl Cesario (’81)
LGBTQ Former Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County

Carla Barnes ('98)

Carla Barnes (’98)
First Black Chief Public Defender
McLean County Public Defender’s Office