Spencer Fane attorney John Browning recently authored an article published in Texas Lawyer on the courage of early legal trailblazers who broke through racial barriers and other major obstacles, as well as his own efforts to right past wrongs.
In the article, The Forgotten Firsts: Remember Those Who Broke Barriers, John spoke on the often neglected legacies of “the firsts,” including Constance Baker Motley, the first Black female federal judge; Macon Bolling Allen, the first Black lawyer; and Charlotte Ray, the first Black female lawyer. John also shares the story of J.H. Williams – a Black man who was denied admission to practice law in Texas in 1882 – and how he led the effort to successfully petition for Williams’ posthumous admission to the Texas bar.
John concluded, “I’m keenly aware of being fortunate to have benefited from the mentorship of great lawyers and judges of all colors. Each of them was “paying it forward” from having been mentored themselves, as their mentors did before them. So you might just say I’m repaying a debt that is owed.”
At Spencer Fane, John views his role as a trial lawyer to be that of a problem-solver for his clients. Whether it’s analyzing a case’s potential for early resolution through a dispositive motion, working with a client to develop a defensive trial strategy, or putting his extensive writing and media experience to use in helping a client protect its brand in the public eye, John brings a pragmatic, problem-solving approach. John is also a former Justice on the Fifth Court of Appeals.
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