Oliver H. Hill

Oliver H. Hill practiced law in Richmond and represented the state counsel for the NAACP. Born in Virginia, Hill attended Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., and then Howard University and Howard University Law School. He graduated in the same class at Howard Law with Thurgood Marshall and was one of Charles Hamilton Houston's students. Hill formed a partnership with Spotswood Robinson, III, and Martin A. Martin in Richmond, Virginia, and took up civil rights cases beginning in the late 1930s. He tried the case of Alston, et al. v. School Board of the City of Norfolk (112 F.2d 992) in 1940, a key victory for equalizing black teacher salaries. Hill ran for Richmond city council in 1948, narrowly losing. In 1951 Hill responded to the call of Barbara Johns, the student leader of the school strike at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia. Hill took up the Farmville case and eventually tried it in the Supreme Court of the United States in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Hill continued to practice civil rights law into the 1980s.