Dovey Johnson-Rountree is a former defense lawyer. She played an important role in the civil rights movement. She also paved the way for other black lawyers.
She died on May 21, 2018 after complications from Alzheimer’s disease according to her cousin. She was 104-years-old. Most of Dovey’s clients were poor black people.People stated that she had free legal clients before many people even knew that there were free legal clinics.
Robert S. Bennet is one of Dovey’s formal clients. He praised the way that Dovey represented Bill Clinton in the infamous Monica Lewinsky. Robert stated that Dovey treated Clinton like he was her own son. Dovey also represented Raymond Crump Jr. He was a black man who was accused of murdering a white woman.
Raymond eventually had the charges dropped. The case was never solved. In 1970, Mayor Walter E. Washington appointed Dovey to the D.C. Board of Higher Education. Marion Berry called Dovey her one of his spiritual mothers.
Dovey Johnson-Rountree mentored many young black lawyers including Charles J. Ogletree Jr. He later became a professor of law at Harvard. She was also a preacher. She spent 35 years preaching at Allen Chapel AME Church.
Katie McCabe is a journalist in Washington. She co-wrote Dovey’s autobiography entitled “Justice Older Than The Law.” She stated that the entire legal world was transformed by Dovey. She stated that Dovey’s work proved that a black attorney could win major cases.
Dovey had an amazing career, but her life was far from perfect. Not only did she grow up during a time when discrimination and racism was common, but she was also raised in a poor family. However, she still defied the odds and had a successful career. She has also inspired many other people to start a career in law and achieve their dreams.