John Payton Named to Head the Legal Defense Fund

John Payton, the attorney who represented the University of Michigan in the two affirmative action cases which reached the Supreme Court, was named director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The LDF, under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, was the driving force behind the legal battles to desegregate higher education in the nation’s public schools. Today it tackles a wide array of legal issues concerning racial equality and civil rights.

John Payton is a graduate of Pomona College and Harvard Law School. He was a partner at the Washington law firm Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, and Dorr.