Jackson, Juanita


(later Mitchell, 1913–92), lawyer, wife of Clarence Mitchell Jr., mother of their four sons, and daughter of Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson and Keiffer Bowen Jackson; founder, City-Wide Young People’s movement, Baltimore (1932); special assistant to Walter White, NAACP executive secretary; and NAACP national youth director (1935–38); legal redress chair, counsel, Baltimore NAACP branch, specializing in constitutional law who directed all desegregation cases, including, successively, lawsuits against University of Maryland’s schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, graduate department of sociology, undergraduate school of engineering; president, Maryland State Conference of NAACP branches. 

She married Clarence Mitchell in 1938 and worked at home until entering the University of Maryland Law School in 1946. She was the first African American student to be elected to the law school’s editorial board, and the school’s dean presented her with the Maryland Law Review scroll of honor at the annual alumni banquet in April 1950, the year in which she graduated. Also in that year, she won admission to the state bar, thus becoming the first black woman to practice law in Maryland. She was also admitted to practice law before the Court of Appeals of Maryland and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and in 1950, she was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. As chair of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee of Maryland, she directed the state’s legal program.