Inez C. Fields

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Inez C. Fields, a native of Hampton, Virginia, became one of the first known black women to become a second-generation lawyer.[1] She graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1922[2] and became the second black woman admitted to the Massachusetts bar on April 15, 1924.[3] Fields did not remain in Massachusetts, but instead returned to Virginia, where she joined her father's law firm in Hampton.[4] On November 7, 1928, she became the third black woman admitted to the Virginia bar.[5] Joining Marian Poe and Bertha Douglass, Inez was one of three black women practicing law in Virginia between the late 1920s and 1960.[6]

Inez C. Fields is the daughter of George Washington Fields.[7] George Washington Fields, who had been blind since 1878, graduated from Cornell University Law School in 1890.[8] He is likely the first black lawyer in Virginia whose daughter followed him into the legal profession.[9] Fields practiced with her father until his death in 1932, and then practiced on her own.[8]


  1. ^ J. Clay Smith, Jr., Black Women Lawyers: 125 Years at the Bar; 100 Years in the Legal Academy, 40 How. L.J. 365, 376 (1997).
  2. ^ The Southern Workman. 1922. pp. 345–. 
  3. ^ J. Clay Smith, Jr.,Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944 111 (1993).
  4. ^ Id.; Virginia G. Drachman, The New Woman Lawyer and the Challenge of Sexual Equality in Early Twentieth-Century America, 28 Ind. L. Rev. 227, 234 (1995).
  5. ^ Id. at 237.
  6. ^ Paul Finkelman, Not Only the Judges' Robes Were Black: African-American Lawyers as Social Engineers, 47 Stan. L. Rev. 161, 209 n.133 (1994).
  7. ^ J. Clay Smith, Jr., Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944 at 231.
  8. ^ a b Id.
  9. ^ Id. at 232.