An Enduring Legacy
The epilogue examines the legacy of the efforts by Julius Chambers and his firm through the mid-1970s. In 1984, Chambers, widely acknowledged as an exceptionally skilled civil rights litigator and legal strategist, succeeded Jack Greenberg as director-counsel of Legal Defense and Education Fund. From that post Chambers coordinated the legal struggle for civil rights for nine years, mostly attempting to fend off the increasingly reactionary policies of the Reagan administration and of the legal positions on race advanced by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice William Rehnquist. In 1993, Chambers resigned as LDF director-counsel and returned to North Carolina, where he was installed as chancellor of his undergraduate alma mater, now North Carolina Central University, in Durham. Chambers retired in 2001and, after an absence of nearly twenty years, returned to Charlotte where he rejoined the firm on a limited basis. He meanwhile served the inaugural director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights, housed within the UNC Law School. Chambers, whose efforts advanced federal civil rights law to its apogee in the early to mid-1970s and who thus stands out as the most important African American civil rights attorney in the generation following Thurgood Marshall, died on August 2, 2013.
Keywords: Julius Chambers, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, civil rights litigation, LDF Director-Counsel, Reagan administration, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, North Carolina Central University, civil rights center at UNC law school
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