Law Firm Recognizes Trailblazing Attorney Mahala Dickerson for Women's History Month
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
The Spencer Wright Law Firm, is proud to recognize the tremendous work of Mahala Ashley Dickerson, a lawyer and civil rights advocate for women and minorities.
In 1948 she became the first African American female attorney admitted to the Alabama State Bar; in 1951 she was the second African American woman admitted to the Indiana State Bar; and in 1959 she was Alaska's first African American attorney. In 1983 Dickerson was the first African American to be elected president of the National Association of Women Lawyers. Her long legal career also helped to pave the way for other women attorneys. In 1995 the American Bar Association named her a Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement honoree.
Throughout her long legal career Dickerson was considered an advocate for the poor and underprivileged. Dickerson prosecuted "one of the first equal pay cases on behalf of women university professors who received less pay than their male counterparts."
As she told the Anchorage Daily News, "In my life, I didn't have but two things to do. Those were to stay black and to die. I'm just not afraid to fight somebody big.... Whenever there's somebody being mistreated, if they want me, I'll help them."
Dickerson wrote a book about her life, "Delayed Justice for Sale," in 1998. In the book Ms. Dickerson outlines her path lifelong love of learning instilled in her by her parents, country schoolteachers.
She was known to have practiced law well into her nineties prior to her passing in 2007.