Judge Jane Bolin
(1908-2007) Jane Matilda Bolin was a pioneer for women of color in the legal world, with a career that was marked by a series of firsts. She was born in Poughkeepsie, New York to Gaius Charles Bolin and Matilda Ingram Bolin. After graduating from high school, Jane Bolin enrolled at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Despite being discouraged by her career counselor at Wellesley College due to her race, Bolin applied to Yale Law School and became the first African American woman to graduate from the school.
Bolin was the first African American woman to join the New York City Bar Association and the first to join the city's law department. In 1939, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia appointed Bolin to the city’s Domestic Relations Court, making her the nation’s first African American woman to serve as a judge. She was well known as an activist for children's rights and education.
For more information, click here.