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86-year-old woman continues serving New Yorkers through private law practice

McMickens attributes her faith to helping her live through the civil rights movement, a touching subject for the Brooklyn native. She reflects on those hard times.

News 12 Staff

Dec 14, 2022, 3:33 AM

Updated 583 days ago

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Jacqueline McMickens has been practicing law for over three decades, and Tuesday marked her 86th birthday. 
She is the founder of her own private practice in Brooklyn Heights, where she specializes in civil rights litigation to criminal law. 
McMickens attributes her faith to helping her live through the civil rights movement, a touching subject for the Brooklyn native. She reflects on those hard times.  
"There was never any kind of embracing me as a child. I couldn't swim, I couldn't play tennis. I couldn't roller skate after dark because it was dangerous," said McMickens. "Life is just wonderful. Breathing, running, living, enjoying. But if in fact, you cannot have a book unless your mother buys you the book, what kind of life is that?"
Prior to her law career, she was a correction officer and raised the ranks to four-star chief of operations for the department - the first African American woman appointed to the role. 
She says that at 86 years young, she is still looking for new challenges and tackling new issues.   


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