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Julius ChambersA Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights$
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Richard A. Rosen and Joseph Mosnier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628547

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628547.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Securing the Foundation

Securing the Foundation

The Chambers Firm in the Early 1970s

(p.260) Chapter Twelve Securing the Foundation
Julius Chambers

Richard A. Rosen

Joseph Mosnier

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes the growth and consolidation of the Chambers law firm in the first half of the 1970s. As the firm hired new lawyers, it maintained a roughly equal balance of white and black attorneys. Growth gave rise to certain tensions, including those between the all-female staff and the firm’s all-male lawyers as a consequence of the firm's inattention to the issue of gender equity. The firm suffered some financial pressure, the result of diminished reimbursements from the LDF, waning fees as Title VII litigation wound down, and Chambers's continuing reluctance to prioritize financial gain over the firm's core mission of service to the African American community. Racial violence rocked the firm when, in February of 1971, an arsonist largely destroyed the firm's offices. No arrests are made. After the firm relocated to temporary quarters in an aging Charlotte motel, Chambers, several of his partners, black physicians, and other black professionals collaborated to build finance and build East Independence Plaza, a multi-story office building that opened in March of 1973, the first building of its type in North Carolina owned and operated by African Americans.

Keywords:   racially integrated law firm, gender imbalance among staff, firebombing of the firm's offices, East Independence Plaza

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