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Arthenia Joyner to be first inductee of FAMU Law Hall of Fame

Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner of Tampa will be honored as the first member of Florida A&M University College of Law’s Hall of Fame, the school has announced.

Joyner, who was in the original school’s last graduating class in 1968, will be honored with a portrait to be unveiled at the law school’s Orlando campus on Friday.

The 72-year-old attorney is a “true trailblazer,” the school said in a statement, noting that she is the first black woman to lead the Florida Senate’s Democratic caucus and the first black woman to practice law in Hillsborough County.

“She is the longest-practicing black female attorney in the history of the state of Florida,” according to the Florida Senate’s website.

Joyner also was part of the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. She was arrested as a Florida A&M University student while picketing outside the whites-only Florida Theater in Tallahassee, eventually spending 21 days in jail.

She has served as president of the National Bar Association, National Legal Advisor for Delta Sigma Theta sorority and as a member of the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors.

The portrait unveiling, which is free and open to the public, is part of a campaign to raise $100,000 for the Arthenia Joyner Endowed Scholarship, the school said.

Joyner, who faces term limits in 2016, previously served in the state House of Representatives from 2000-06.

FAMU Law was founded in 1949 in Tallahassee, but shut down by 1968. The Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000, with Orlando selected as the new location. The re-established school hosted its first new class in 2002.

 

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