Clara Meek, retired partner with the prominent law firm Vinson & Elkins, died Dec. 23, 2017, at age 68.

In 1970, Meek graduated summa cum laude from Texas Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in management. She earned MPA and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Later, she earned a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

She was a research consultant at the Ford Foundation, consultant to the New Jersey State Department of Higher Education, assistant dean and assistant professor at Howard University’s School of Business and Public Administration, analyst for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and program analyst and deputy office director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Upon earning her law degree in 1985, she joined Vinson & Elkins. In 1994, she became the firm’s first African American partner, leading what was then the business litigation section. She worked on complex antitrust cases until illness caused her retirement. She was known for strong advocacy for the underserved and disenfranchised in Houston and elsewhere, which included a yearlong relocation to Africa.

Meek is survived by her sister, Doris Meek Rowl. She was predeceased by nine older siblings.

Graduate memorials are written by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1977