35 Black women judges–and counting

We’ve seen a record number of Black women appointed to serve in district courts in recent years. In 2022, Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then, a record-breaking 35 Black women have been confirmed as federal judges who will serve for life. That number includes Judges Cristal Brisco and Jacquelyn Austin, who just last month became the first two Black women to be confirmed as federal judges in Indiana and South Carolina.

Without a doubt, these history-making milestones are worth celebrating. We’ve come a long way since Charlotte Ray became the first Black woman lawyer in 1872.

But, the hard truth is that Black communities still face a legal system that neither reflects nor represents them. According to The 19th, forty-six percent of the federal judiciary is made up of white men. Forty-six percent.

Given that stat, it comes as no surprise that one out of every three Black boys born today can expect to be sentenced to prison. There aren’t enough lawyers from marginalized communities representing marginalized people.

At Esq. Apprentice, we believe that Black women should be represented at all levels of our legal system. That’s why we provide personalized learning support, mentorship, and coaching to help them complete California’s law apprenticeship program and become attorneys.

The upcoming elections remind us that we may not always have a president who appoints federal judges who actually represent the richness of our diverse nation. But let us be clear: Esq. Apprentice will never stop fighting to help Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian women become the lawyers and legal advocates our communities need.

This Black History Month, we hope you’ll join us. Help us keep fighting–make a donation today. Let’s ensure that 35 Black women federal judges is only the beginning.