Fulfilling the Promise

Howard University

School of Law

William Robert Ming, Jr.


Biographical Sketches

Robert L. Carter
Julian R. Dugas
Jack Greenberg
William H. Hastie
George E. C. Hayes
A. Leon Higginbotham
Oliver W. Hill
Charles Hamilton Houston
Thurgood Marshall
William Robert Ming, Jr.
Constance Baker Motley
James M. Nabrit, Jr.
Spottswood W. Robinson, III



William R. Ming, Jr., was a prominent civil rights pioneer and served on the NAACP national legal committee. He graduated Order of the Coif from University of Chicago Law School in 1933. While there,in Ming became one of the first African American members of a law review.  He also was published in the inaugural issue of the University of Chicago Law Review in 1933. When he taught at the University of Chicago School of Law from 1947 to 1953, Ming was the first full-time African American faculty member at a predominantly white law school .

Ming was a member of the Brown v. Board of Education litigation team. He worked on a number of the key cases leading to Brown including cases in which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional state judicial enforcement of racial restrictive covenants in housing (Shelley v. Kraemer (1948)), and separate but equal facilities for black professionals and graduate students in state universities (Sweatt v. Painter (1950) and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950)).

Selected Bibliography

J. Clay Smith, Jr., Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944 (U. Pa. Press 1993)

Paul Finkelman, Not Only the Judges' Robes Were Black: African-American Lawyers as Social Engineers, 47 Stan. L. Rev. 161 (1994)