List of first minority male lawyers and judges in the United States

Last updated

This is a list of the first minority male lawyer(s) and judge(s) in each state. It includes the year in which the men were admitted to practice law (in parentheses). Also included are other distinctions such as the first minority men in their state to obtain a law degree or become a political figure.

Contents

Firsts nationwide

George Lewis Ruffin: First African American male to earn a law degree in the United States (1869) George Lewis Ruffin.jpg
George Lewis Ruffin: First African American male to earn a law degree in the United States (1869)
Hong Yen Chang: First male lawyer of Chinese descent in the United States (1888) Hong Yen Chang1.jpg
Hong Yen Chang: First male lawyer of Chinese descent in the United States (1888)
Herbert Choy: First Korean American male lawyer in the United States (1941) Herbert Choy.jpg
Herbert Choy: First Korean American male lawyer in the United States (1941)

Law degree

Lawyers

Law clerks

Judicial officers

Justice of the peace

Judges

  • Issac Miranda: [7] [8] [9] [10] First Jewish American male to serve as a judge in the U.S. and Pennsylvania (1727)
  • Macon Bolling Allen (1844): [12] [13] First African American male judicial officer in the U.S. and Massachusetts (1847)
  • James Dean (1884): [62] [63] First African American male elected as a county judge in the South since Reconstruction and in Florida (1888)
  • Lawson E. Thomas (1923): [64] First African American male judge in the South since Reconstruction and in Florida (1950)
  • Dalip Singh Saund: [65] [66] First Asian Indian-American male elected as a judge in the U.S. (1950)
  • John Aiso (1941): [67] [68] [69] [70] First Japanese American judge in the contiguous U.S. and California (1952)
  • Delbert E. Wong (1948): [71] [72] [73] First Chinese American male judge in the contiguous U.S. and California (1959)
  • Stephen Lachs (1963): [74] First openly LGBT male judge in the U.S. and California (1979)
  • William McKinley Branch: [75] [76] [77] First African American male elected as a probate judge in the U.S. and Alabama (1970)
  • Mel Red Recana (1974): [78] [79] [80] First Filipino American male judge in the U.S. and California (1981)
  • Paul C. Lo (1994): [81] First Hmong American male judge in the U.S. and California (2013)
  • Firdaus Dordi: [82] [83] First Zoroastrian male judge in the U.S. and California (2017)
  • Mike Jacobs: [84] First openly LGBT judge in the U.S. and Georgia (2018) [85]
  • Bryant Yang: [86] First Burmese-American judge in the U.S. (2020) [87]

State judgeships

Justices
  • Jonathan Jasper Wright (1865): [14] First African American male to serve on a state supreme court (1870)
  • Masaji Marumoto: [65] [88] First Japanese American male to serve on a state supreme court (1956)
  • Wilfred Tsukiyama (c. 1924): [65] [89] [90] First Japanese American male to serve as the Chief Justice of a state supreme court (1959)
  • Ben Menor: [65] [91] [92] First Filipino American male to serve on a state supreme court (1974)
  • Robert N. C. Nix Jr. (c. 1954): [93] First African American male to serve as the Chief Justice of a state supreme court (1984)
  • Luis Rovira: [94] [95] First Hispanic American male to serve as the Chief Justice of a state supreme court (1990)
  • Richard B. Teitelman (1973): [96] [97] First blind male (who is Jewish) appointed as a state supreme court justice (2002)
  • Rives Kistler (1981): [98] First openly LGBT male appointed as a state supreme court justice (2003)

Federal judgeships

District court
  • James Benton Parsons (1949): [14] First African American to serve as a U.S. federal judge in a U.S. District Court (1961)
  • Dick Yin Wong (1950): [118] First Chinese American appointed as a federal district court judge (1975)
  • Richard C. Casey (1958): [119] First blind male to become a federal district court judge (1997)
  • Denny Chin (1978): [28] First Asian American male appointed as a U.S. district court judge outside of the Ninth Circuit (2010)
  • J. Paul Oetken (1991): [120] First openly LGBT male appointed as a U.S. district court judge (2011)
  • Amul Thapar (1994): [121] First South Asian American male appointed as a federal district judge (2007)
Circuit court
  • Chuck Mau: [65] [122] First Chinese American male appointed as a state circuit court judge (1950)
  • Ben Menor: [65] [91] [92] First Filipino American male appointed as a state circuit court judge (1968)
  • Arthur Alarcón: [123] [124] First Latino American male appointed as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1979)
  • Julio M. Fuentes (1975): [125] First Hispanic American male appointed as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2000)
  • Todd M. Hughes (1992): [126] First openly LGBT male appointed as a judge on a federal circuit court (2013) [127]
  • Patrick J. Bumatay: [128] First openly LGBT male appointed as a Judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (2019)
Bankruptcy Court
  • Robert Kwan: [129] First male of Chinese ancestry to serve as a federal bankruptcy judge in the U.S. (2007)
Customs court
Tax court
  • Juan Vasquez: [131] First Latino American male appointed as a Judge of the U.S. Tax Court (1995)
Appellate court
Justices

Judge advocate general

Attorneys General

Federal

State

  • Edward Brooke (1948): [145] First African American male to serve as a state attorney general in the U.S. and Massachusetts (1962)
  • Larry Echo Hawk: [146] [147] First Native American male to serve as a state attorney general in the U.S. and Idaho (1991)
  • Gurbir Grewal (1999): [148] First Sikh American male to serve as a state attorney general in the U.S. and New Jersey (2018)

Deputy Attorneys General

Federal

State

  • Chuck Mau: [65] [122] First Chinese American male to serve as a Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. (c. 1936)

Associate Attorney General

Federal

Deputy Associate Attorney General

Federal

  • Nelson Dong (1974): [28] [151] First Chinese American male appointed as a Deputy Associate Attorney General of the United States (1979-1980)

Assistant Attorney General

Federal

Civil Rights Division

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

Federal

Solicitor General

Federal

United States Attorney

Assistant District Attorney

County Attorney

Political office

Presidential candidates / presidents

Bar associations

Federal

State

  • Judge John A. Howard: [195] First African American elected president of a state bar association.(1981-1982)
  • Wayne Budd: [196] First African American male to serve as the president of a state bar association (1979-1980)
  • Mark Johnson: [197] First openly LGBT male to serve as the president of a state bar association (1998)
  • Rajeev Majumdar: [198] First American male of South Asian descent to serve as the president of a state bar association (2019)

Firsts in individual states

Wyoming: Plasa L. Turner [199] [200] was an African American male lawyer that appeared in the Wyoming census (1910). His historical significance is unclear.

Firsts in Washington, D.C. (Federal District)

Firsts in the territories of the US

See also

Other topics of interest

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