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Janice Martin Foster '67 Inducted into Tulane Law Hall of Fame

Janice Martin Foster '67 Inducted into Tulane Law Hall of Fame

From L to R: Janice Martin Foster pictured at the time of her CHC graduation, alongside a picture of her during her law career. Chestnut Hill College is thrilled to celebrate one of our very own, Janice Martin Foster '67, who was inducted into the Tulane Law Hall of Fame as the first black woman to graduate from the program.

Note: Information in this article is courtesy of Tulane Law School and Alina Hernandez. To read the article in full, please click here.

When Janice Martin Foster '67 graduated from Chestnut Hill College, she knew she wanted to continue her education by practicing law. What she didn't know at the time, however, was the history she was soon to embark on in the process. Because Foster, much like many trailblazers, didn't set out to make history. She simply set out on her chosen path to become a lawyer.

"It took me a little while, but I didn't realize that I was the only black woman until I got to class and no one looked like me," Foster told Tulane's Alina Hernandez. In 1970, Foster became the first black woman to graduate from Tulane's Law School and only the second black student at the time to earn a J.D. At Tulane, Foster excelled, joining and later editing the Tulane Law Review. She also graduated Order of the Coif, an honor given to those in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Upon her graduation, Foster began working at Jones Walker, first as a law clerk and eventually as special counsel, advising on everything from estate planning, trusts, power of attorney, charitable gifts, tax law, and more. Her career took her down many avenues but for Foster, there was always one constant.

"The law has been good to me, and I really enjoyed those first years practicing," Foster told Hernandez. "Whether it was Tulane, or the firm, or the courthouse, people were always helpful and kind. I would not have changed my choice of going into law."

During her illustrious career, Foster has been recognized as a leader within her profession, serving as an active member in many civic organizations and receiving such honors as the New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Award, the Young Leadership Council Role Model Award, the Monte Lemann Award for distinguished contributions to the Louisiana Civil Service System, and the Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys.

Her success has come to no surprise to those who have known her over the years including Tulane Law Dean, David Meyer, who upon Foster's induction announcement, said, "We’re enormously proud of Janice Foster’s accomplishments and leadership in the legal profession, and deeply grateful to her for helping to open doors through which hundreds of other talented students and alumni have followed."

Foster entered the Hall of Fame alongside five other incredibly accomplished Tulane professionals as part of the Class of 2020. While the official induction has already taken place, the in-person ceremony to celebrate the class will take place on Friday, May 13th, 2022.

Chestnut Hill College congratulates Foster and all of the inductees of the 2020 Class of the Tulane Law Hall of Fame!

Posted In: Alumni News