Posted: Nov 11, 2010 9:04 PM by Alison Haynes
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The nation's first black attorney general has visited New Orleans to pay tribute to the Louisiana Supreme Court's first black justice.
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke Thursday at Dillard University's dedication of a mock trial center named after Justice Revius Ortique Jr., who died in 2008 at the age of 84.
Holder said Ortique blazed a trail for more diversity in the legal profession. But he said the nation's legal profession remains plagued by inequality.
Holder said "people of color" account for more than 30 percent of the nation's population but only about 10 percent of America's lawyers, while less than 9 percent of federal judges are black.
But he added that the "doors of opportunity" are open wider than when Ortique was a Dillard student half a century ago.