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Nils Douglas


Nils Douglas (1930-2003) was a civil rights attorney. A native of New Orleans, Douglas completed his undergraduate degree at Dillard University in 1950 and graduated from Loyola University School of Law in 1959. After graduation, Douglas started a legal practice with Loyola classmate Lolis Elie and Louisiana State University Law School graduate Robert Collins. In 1960 the New Orleans chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) asked Douglas and his firm to represent CORE after a sit-in campaign. Douglas and his firm defended CORE chapter President Rudy Lombard and three others who were arrested for staging a sit-in protest at the lunch counter of the McCrory Five and Ten Cent Store in New Orleans. They appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court which, in its decision, declared the city's ban on sit-ins unconstitutional. Douglas's firm also provided free legal counsel to the Consumers' League, a group of black civil rights activists who protested discriminatory employment practices. In the late 1960s, Douglas helped form the Southern Organization for Unified Leadership, a group that worked to register, organize, and mobilize black voters. Douglas became commissioner in the magistrate section of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in 1974.

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