20 Law & Hist. Rev. 97 (2002)
Race, Class, and Legal Ethics in the Early NAACP (1910-1920)

handle is hein.journals/lawhst20 and id is 121 raw text is: FORUM:
Race, Class, and Legal Ethics in the
Early NAACP (1910-1920)
In 1916, Charles Anderson Boston, one of the members of the first nation-
al Legal Redress Committee of the National Association for the Advance-
ment of Colored People, spoke at the organization's board of directors
meeting to endorse the use of new litigation strategies in the fight against
racial segregation. The proper presentation of the legal fight against seg-
regation, Boston urged, should focus on gathering facts, not law to dem-
onstrate to the courts the law's actual operation.' Boston's emphasis on
using facts to demonstrate the law's operation accorded with the NAACP's
litigation strategy, which relied not only on gathering and presenting such
facts but also on creating facts by carefully staging scenarios that would
present the right test cases to the courts for adjudication.
At the same time, Boston sat on a number of bar association commit-
tees that promulgated and enforced legal ethics rules. Some of these rules
1. Minutes of Board Meeting, 13 March 1916, Papers of the NAACP (Frederick, Md.:
University Publications of America, 1982; 1996) [hereafter NAACP Papers Microfilm
Edition], Pt. I, Reel 1, Frame 480.
Susan D. Carle is associate professor of law at American University Washington
College of Law. She owes special thanks for reading earlier drafts and providing
helpful comments to a number of her colleagues at American University Washing-
ton College of Law-Adrienne Davis, Robert Dinerstein, Binny Miller, Teemu
Ruskola, Michael Tigar, and Leti Volpp-as well as to others outside her institu-
tion-Richard Abel, Dan Ernst, Richard Hamm, John Harrison, Clyde Spillenger,
Lauren Taylor, Christopher Tomlins, Mark Tushnet, and Law and History Review's
anonymous referees. She benefited greatly from the excellent research assistance
of Sue Jean Kim and from the generous research funding of American University
Washington College of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and the W. M.
Keck Foundation.

Law and History Review Spring 2002, Vol. 20, No. I
 2002 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

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