About the Event

The Murphy Family Legacy

For generations, the Murphy family has strived to represent all the best the law has to offer, along with a real commitment to helping our community. In 1982, John H. Murphy, Sr. founded what is now considered the nation’s oldest historically black family-owned newspaper-The Afro-American. Along with his colleagues, he established a respected news outlet which crusaded against the racial and economic injustices that plagued Baltimore City.

His grandson, Judge William H. Murphy, Sr., would continue to push for equality, this time within the legal system. In 1948, Judge Murphy, Sr. opened his own law practice in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, litigating cases in the fields of workers’ compensation, family law and criminal law. Both he and his wife, Madeline Murphy, became impassioned community organizers with active roles in local and national politics.

The firm built a celebrated reputation in the 1970s as his son, Judge Billy Murphy, Jr. expanded the firm’s criminal practice successfully tried a series of cases that exemplified the family’s commitment to social justice. ln 1980, he became judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, a position he held for three years before returning to his successful law practice and by the late 1990s, Judge Billy Murphy, Jr.’s son, Hassan Murphy, joined the firm as managing partner. Young and driven, with an eye for strategy, Mr. Murphy has since expanded the firm’s presence both locally and nationally.

With this fund, the Murphy family hopes to encourage the motivated and passionate individuals who will make great changes in the lives of others. It’s the best way we know to both honor our family’s legacy, and help ensure our community has continued access to the best legal advocates.

Judge William H. Murphy, Sr.

Father and mentor. Advocate and politician. William H. Murphy, Sr. played many roles in the Baltimore community he cared so strongly for. With intelligence, eloquence and a deep affection for the place he called home, Judge Murphy, Sr. spent much of his life bettering the social and economic atmosphere of Baltimore.

Judge Murphy, Sr. used his life’s work to change the racial landscape of his hometown. He was one of the first African Americans to be admitted to the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and shortly thereafter, founded the first black law firm in segregated downtown Baltimore. Through political
campaigning and his eventualjudicial election to the Baltimore Municipal Court (now the Maryland District Court), Judge Murphy, Sr. took great pride in understanding the abilities of legal system to meet the needs and desires of the community.

As a bastion for African American leadership, he encouraged other African Americans to defy the segregation that was rampant in Maryland by pursuing legal careers of their own. This is a tradition that the Murphy family continues to extol today.

Madeline W. Murphy

Madeline Wheeler Murphy brought her own legacy of advocacy to the Murphy family. When Mrs. Murphy moved to Baltimore in 1945, she grew roots of her own in a city where deep-seated prejudices made championing political issues a challenge for young black women. Yet, Mrs. Murphy was neither timid nor accepting of Baltimore’s racial oppression. She became deeply involved in every aspect of community affairs.

Mrs. Murphy used her brilliance and deep understanding of the social injustices of her time to become an outspoken advocate who fought for both opportunity and equality. She often appeared on local television and radio shows discussing controversial political issues, served on the first poverty board for the Community Action Commission, ran for City Council three times and participated in endless campaigns of both local and national prominence.

By the 1990s, she was inducted into the Baltimore City Women’s Hall of Fame, an honor that speaks to Mrs. Murphy’s commitment to doing well by way of doing good, and inspiring those around her to do the same.


For well over 70 years, the Murphy name in Baltimore has been synonymous with legal advocacy, tenacious representation and a commitment to fighting for justice-values that Judge Billy Murphy, Jr., and his son, Hassan Murphy, continue to build upon today as the founding partner and managing partner, respectively, of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy.

Murphy, Falcon & Murphy is a singular collection of seasoned trial lawyers who share deep experience in complex civil and criminal litigation. The firm’s nationally recognized team of attorneys has helped clients successfully resolve cases of medical malpractice, birth injury personal injury products liability, employment law, and more.

Murphy, Falcon & Murphy has tried cases in some of the toughest jurisdictions in the country but their roots remain in Baltimore. Inspired by the legacy of the Murphy family, each member of the firm has always maintained a dedication to legal excellence, both in their day-to-day work and in supporting the next generation of com munity-minded lawyers.