The WBAEF Charles Hamilton Houston Essay Competition is held each year in honor of the brilliant WBA Founder Charles Hamilton Houston. Charles Hamilton Houston was one of the most important civil rights attorneys in American history. A lawyer, in his view, was an agent for social change—“either a social engineer or a parasite on society.”
Houston helped play a role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws and helped train future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Known as “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow”, he played a role in nearly every civil rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Houston’s brilliant plan to attack and defeat Jim Crow segregation by using the inequality of the “separate but equal” doctrine (from the Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson decision) as it pertained to public education in the United States was the master stroke that brought about the landmark Brown decision.
The Charles Hamilton Houston Scholarship Essay Competition is open to first and second-year law students The Charles Hamilton Houston Scholarship Essay Competition is open to all first and second-year law students enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school in the Washington DC metropolitan area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia.