Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr.
Court-appointed advocate in right-to-counsel cases, restoration project for Oliver W. Hill’s boyhood home
Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. PC
P.O. Box 2246
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 648 9200
BA, Morgan State University
LL.B, St. John’s University
Who was your most important mentor and how did that mentor impact your career?
Robert M. Morgenthau, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and currently District Attorney, New York County, NY. Morgenthau hired me as an assistant United States attorney and mentored me as a young lawyer. He strongly influenced my training as a lawyer and my career. Under his tutelage, I handled some of the most important cases in which the United States was a party. Lawyers of color at that time were not hired by New York law firms or corporations. When I decided to leave the U.S. Attorney’s office, I discussed with Bob the problem I was having obtaining employment because of my race. He assisted me to obtain a position as a lawyer with AT&T. I was the first lawyer of color hired by AT&T. Morgenthau has mentored many outstanding lawyers, including recently appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
What do you consider your biggest personal accomplishment and why?
My marriage and partnership with my deceased wife, Norine Dunnaville, for 42 years.
What is the best bit of advice you ever received?
To join Oliver W. Hill’s law firm at his request.
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
I have always worked long hours and weekends but I always kept my personal and family life separate and never mixed work and my personal life.
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what field would you have entered?
I considered a career as a professor of history or political science. I also may possibly have become an artist.
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
Simple Justice by Richard Kluger and The Big Bang, the Autobiography of Oliver W. Hill. Both of these works demonstrate how lawyers, against tremendous odds, changed America, requiring the nation to treat all citizens as equal under the law.
What are two facts about you that most people, including your closest friends, may not know?
I studied art at the New York School of Visual Arts and my paintings were exhibited in some New York art galleries a number of years ago. I conceived of, and was responsible for the construction of the office tower in New York City where President Bill Clinton has his office today.