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Black Law Student Association

Did you know? Celebrating Black History Month with interesting facts

February 29, 2016

  • Judge Aaron Brown, class of 1959
  • Beatrice Morrow Cannaday, class of 1922
  • Judge Mercedes Deiz, class of 1959

In honor of Black History Month, the Black Law Student Association gathered interesting facts about the people, events, and places that influenced history. This week’s fact was gathered by law professor Janet Steverson.

Our last black history post involves three graduates from our own law school. Beatrice Morrow Cannady, class of 1922, was the first black woman to graduate from a law school in Oregon. Aaron Brown, Jr., class of 1959, was the first black judge in Oregon. Mercedes Deiz, also of the class of 1959, was the first black woman admitted to the Oregon bar and the first black woman to serve on the Oregon bench.

This newspaper article announces the appointment of Judge Brown to the municipal bench, and points out that he was the only “Negro” judge in Oregon, and one of 13 in four western states at the time.


For more information on these pioneering graduates from the Northwestern School of Law, now formally known as the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, please visit the websites below.