Women’s History Month 2023- Cynthia Mabry-King  

This month, in honor of Women's History Month, we are honoring Rising Stars and Mothers of the Movement.

By Christina M. Jones, Esq.

Black people make up 5% of lawyers in America. Black women attorneys occupy an even smaller slice of that 5%. As a young Black woman entering law school, I knew that I was rare, but I was hopeful that I would find others like me.  

As I walked into my first week of classes at the Howard University School of Law, I remember being in awe of my civil procedure professor. The Hon. Cynthia Mabry-King was, and still is, an advocate and an inspiration to her students. She demanded excellence. She always walked into the classroom with her shoulders back and head held high, ready to engage in conversation about the law.  

I wanted to be just like her. She commanded every room she walked in. People leapt to attention and slackers were put to shame. She was also very caring and selfless with her time. During office hours, she spent time with students walking them through complex problems. She made sure that everyone who sought out help received it.  

After my first year, I signed up for every class she taught; soaking in her knowledge of family law. She literally wrote the textbook on family law used by law students across the country. During my second year of law school, she and I worked together to create the first Howard Family Law Society (HFLS). The mission of the HFLS is to enhance the education of students interested in family law, to encourage interdisciplinary and international research and practice in the area of family law, to disseminate information on family law and social policies affecting families, and to foster community service for the benefit of families and children with an emphasis on disadvantaged families and families of color. The program that we built over 15 years ago is still in existence today.  

The Hon. Cynthia Mabry-King continues to work on behalf of women and marginalized communities. After her work as a professor, she was a Circuit Mediator for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 2015 to 2022. She is currently a member of the International Ombuds Association and a certified mediator with the McCammon Group.   

At the Howard University School of Law, I had the privilege of being in a supportive, challenging and inspiring environment. Today, after a successful career in litigation, I have the privilege of serving in a leadership role at BWJP. Without women like Cynthia Mabry-King fostering my interest in family law and domestic violence advocacy, I would not be where I am today.  

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Christina M. Jones and Professor Mabry at a Family Law Society Event at Howard University. 

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