Profile America: Charlotte Ray, America’s First Black Female Law Student


Saturday, February 27 —  On this date in 1872, America’s third female law student was graduated. But this third was a first. Charlotte Ray was a freeborn African-American, and the first black woman to graduate law school. With her degree from historically black Howard University, she shortly began her law practice in Washington, D.C., and was the first woman accredited to argue a case before the Supreme Court. When Charlotte Ray graduated, only some 8,500 college and professional degrees were awarded in the U.S. Today, among the 25 million African-Americans over 25 years old, nearly 20 percent have bachelor’s degrees or higher levels of attainment. Over 1.8 million blacks have graduate or professional degrees.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email