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Mary's Room
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Inspired by Family

In August, 1934, my grandfather took on a pro bono case in front of the Supreme Court. He represented Angelo Herndon, a Black man who had been sentenced to 18 to 20 years on the Georgia chain gang for "possessing radical literature.” After the first argument in 1935, the Supreme Court denied Mr. Herndon's appeal by a vote of 6 to 3 (Justices Brandeis, Cardozo and Stone dissenting). My grandfather went back and argued the case again in February 8, 1937 – and this time, the Court ruled in his favor by a vote of 5 to 4, and Mr. Herndon was freed

I was a teenager when my grandfather died, so the impact of his work didn't really resonate with me until years later.

But he inspired my whole family: my late uncle was U.S attorney in New York, my cousin does appellate work, and my brother and sister-in-law were assistant U.S attorneys in New York. Their high standards and ethics infuse everything I do and I strive to live up to their good work.

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