Walter Moran Farmer, was Washington University law school’s first African-American graduate. He received his LL.B. degree cum laude in 1889. Farmer walked with the dean at his 1899 graduation from Washington University’s law school in St. Louis when the other students refused to walk with him.
Farmer was the first African American to serve in a judicial capacity in Missouri when he was appointed special judge in the St. Louis municipal court at the beginning of the 20th century. He was also the first African-American lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court of Missouri (1893) and one of the first to argue a case (Duncan v. Missouri 1894) before the U.S. Supreme Court.