Clayton, Edith Spurlock Sampson
1901 - 1979

Photograph by Carl Van Vechten. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105576).
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105576).

AliasES: Edith Spurlock, Edith Sampson
Born: 10/13/1901 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died: 10/8/1979
Ethnicity: African American/Black
Professional Facts

Regions and States of Practice:
IL, Midwest
Legal Education:
John Marshall Law School - Chicago, 1925
Other Education:
New York School of Social Work
LL.M., Loyola University Chicago School of Law (1927)
University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Positions During Her Career:
Juvenile Court Referee in Cook County, Illinois (1927-?)
Private practitioner on the South Side of Illinois (1927-1947)
Appointed attache of the juvenile court in Chicago (1930-1940)
Appointed special commissioner of Chicago's court system (1940)
Assistant state's attorney in Cook County (1947-1962)
First alternate delegate to the United Nations (1950-?)
Held judicial seat on the Chicago Municipal Court (1962-1966)
Judge on Cook County Circuit Court (1966-1978)
Assisted her husband in his law practice
Sworn into the Army Judge Advocate General Corps
Member of the NAWL
African-American woman to be elected a judge in the United States (1962)
African-American woman to receive a degree from Loyola Law School
African-American woman to be appointed commissioner in the court system in Chicago
Graduated first in a class of ninety-five students and received a special commendation from Dean Edward T. Lee

Further Research Materials

Susan Ware (Editor) and Stacy Braukman, Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary Completing The Twentieth Century. The Bellknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2004.
Smith, J. Clay (John Clay), Emancipation : The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press (1993)
Jessie Carney Smith (Editor), Notable Black American Women. Detroit : Gale Research (1992)
Laura Miller Derry, Digest of Women Lawyers and Judges. Lousville, Kentucky: Dunne Press (1949)

Student Papers: