Skip to main content

Joseph J. Levin, Jr.

Joseph J. Levin, Jr., and Morris Dees co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. As legal director from 1971 to 1976, Levin worked on more than 50 major civil rights cases. He argued the landmark sex discrimination case, Frontiero vs. Richardson, in which the U.S. Supreme court struck down a federal law giving preferences to men in the military. In 1976, Levin left to join President Carter's administration. In 1979, he entered private practice of law in Washington, D.C. Levin continued his connection to the Center by serving as its board chairman until 2003. In September 1996, Levin returned to Montgomery to assume the expanded position of president of the Center. In 2003, Levin stepped down from that position to become general counsel of the Center.