Janette McCarthy Wallace is the Interim General Counsel in the NAACP Legal Department. Ms. Wallace joined the NAACP as the Deputy General Counsel in April 2017. Ms. Wallace is a graduate of Wellesley College where she majored in English and graduated cum laude with Department Honors. She went on to attend Columbia Law School where she was a member of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. After graduating from Columbia Law School, Ms. Wallace served as a law clerk to the Honorable John R. Hargrove, Sr., United States District Judge for the District Court of Maryland. Following her clerkship with Judge Hargrove, Ms. Wallace was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. She then moved to Cleveland Ohio where she was a partner for a national labor and employment firm for several years.
Ms. Wallace primarily handles the oversight of civil rights litigation and she also handles internal legal matters for the Association including human resources, and contracts. Her daily duties include providing legal counsel to the General Counsel, department heads and regional offices on the legal implications of proposed activities and programs, monitoring the legal activities of civil and human rights groups to identify those in which the NAACP may wish to participate, providing legal advice and general assistance on all activities of the NAACP and ensuring maximum protection of the organization’s legal rights.
Ms. Wallace was born on the island of Jamaica and spent her formative years in Harlem, New York.