Ben Crump, Sherrilyn Ifill top Black Lawyers of Decade list

Ben Crump, Sherrilyn Ifill top Black Lawyers of Decade list
Ben Crump (Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Kevin RC Wilson)

Leading civil rights attorney Ben Crump is ranked No. 1 on Lawyers of Color’s list of the 10 Most Influential Black Lawyers of the Decade. In ranking the attorneys, Lawyers of Color considered each individual’s media reach, legal pipeline influence, social justice policy impact, and the extent to which each inspires.

Crump is being honored for the years he has spent fighting for justice for the families of Martin Anderson, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and George Floyd. In addition to running his national law practice, Ben Crump Law, the change agent recently launched Brooklyn Media, a TV production company that will produce documentaries that focus on racial issues.


Sherrilyn Ifill is ranked No. 2 on Lawyers of Color’s Most Influential Black Lawyers of the Decade list. Ifill is the seventh president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She leads the civil rights organization as it works to advance the cause of racial justice, equality, and creating an inclusive society.

Coming in at No. 3 is entertainment lawyer Matthew Johnson, whose esteemed clientele includes Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, LeBron James, Serena Williams and the Obamas.


The top 10 is rounded out by the following innovators, public figures and change agents:

4. Eric Holder Jr., the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General.

5. Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent and a frequent commentator on MSNBC.

6. Equity advisor and culture commentator April Reign, whose #OscarsSoWhite campaign led to more diversity in the Academy of Motion Pictures.

7. Laurie Robinson Haden, president of Corporate Counsel Women of Color and former CBSViacom senior vice president and assistant general counsel.

8. Benjamin F. Wilson, chairman of Beveridge & Diamond PC, who created networking organizations to support executive and senior-level Black attorneys.

9. Hezekiah Sistrunk Jr., national partner and president of The Cochran Firm, which continues the legacy of the firm’s founder, Johnnie Cochran.

10. Evangeline Mitchell, the founder of National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair, which hosts mock law school classes, workshops and clinics for prospective minority law students.

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