BAKKE. See Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.
BELL, DERRICK A. (born November 6, 1930, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), civil rights* lawyer, author, and activist who has taken strong personal stands on civil rights issues that have impacted his career, has been a pioneer in positions never before held by blacks, and has been an advocate for black advancement.
Bell's father, who ran a small garbage-collection business, had left school after sixth grade. Bell received an A.B. in political science from Duquesne University in 1952. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and reached the rank of second lieutenant. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh Law School after his air force service. He was the associate editor of the law review and graduated fourth in his class, the only black student in the class.
Bell worked in President Dwight D. Eisenhower's* Department of Justice* from 1957 to 1959 as a staff attorney and was the only black attorney among 1,000 lawyers, but resigned when he was told that he had to decide between his membership in the NAACP* and his position. He became the executive secretary of Pittsburgh's NAACP from 1959 to 1960 and then was hired by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund* (LDF), serving as a staff lawyer from 1960 to 1966. He worked on school desegregation* cases in Mississippi and helped to get James Meredith* admitted to the University of Mississippi. In 1966 Bell returned to the federal government as Deputy Director of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare's* ( HEW) Office of Civil Rights*. He resigned a year later to accept his first academic position as director of the Western Center on Law and Poverty for 1968-1969. He was appointed as Harvard Law School's first black law professor in 1969, formally as a lecturer and then as a professor