I was a volunteer lawyer for the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committe (LCDC) in Jackson MS in summer 1966. That was an exhilarating experience trying a little case in Starkville, a much bigger case in West Point, and getting arrested by Sheriff Rainey in Philadelphia for serving a subpoena on him to appear in federal court.
I moved to Tallahassee in fall 1966-67 and was very active with the SCLC chapter. I made a lifelong friendship with Rev. C.K. Steele, the first First Vice President of SCLC under Dr. King.
1967-68 I was the Deputy Director of the S. FL Migrant Legal Service Program.
1968-70 I was the Deputy Director of the N. MS Rural Legal Service Program. The administrative duties were minimal so despite my title, I functioned more like a director of litigation. All my cases were civil rights cases, though the program as a whole served a broad range of legal issues of the poor. At the time I left we had approximately 18 school districts under order making the office 3d only to the Department of Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in number of school desegregation cases. During my tenure we expanded from two to five offices — new ones in West Point, Batesville, and Greenwood. Some of us worked essentially 60 hour weeks, but it was such an exciting time that there were no regrets.
I came back to Tallahassee to establish my own civil rights law firm in June 1971. More than 90% of the caseload was civil rights litigation — jury venires, voting rights, and the mop-up of school desegregation (expulsion and suspension of black students), but primarily employment discrimination. I published Representing Plaintiffs in Title VII Actions, two volumes (Wiley 1994) and (2d ed Aspen 1998) which was supplemented annually and stood at circa 2700 pages when I stopped supplementing it in 2004.