Civil rights lawyer Clarence C. “Buddy” Malone (1928-2001) attended North Carolina Central University, earning his undergraduate degree in 1951 and his law degree in 1959. In the 1960s he opened Durham’s first African-American law firm, Pearson, Malone, Johnson, & DeJarmon. Among his partners were William Gaston Pearson, II, who in 1977 became North Carolina’s first African-American district court judge, and LeMarquis DeJarmon, who later became the dean of North Carolina Central University School of Law. The firm of Pearson, Malone, Johnson, & DeJarmon served as a training ground for many NCCU School of Law graduates.
In the early 1960s Malone often represented protestors arrested during civil rights demonstrations in North Carolina, notably the May 1963 mass arrests in Greensboro and the May 1964 demonstration in Chapel Hill. He also took on cases in Fayetteville and Elizabeth City and often consulted on cases for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Congress of Racial Equality. Malone died on February 10, 2001, at the age of 72.