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When Raymond Hamlin graduated from law school in 1990, he took a decidedly untraditional career path. Unlike many minority students, who are encouraged to take jobs with mainstream firms or the government, Hamlin joined Newark’s Ashley & Charles, one of the oldest minority-owned law firms in New Jersey.

Hamlin felt it important to go to a firm where the partners were African- Americans. “One of the reasons, frankly, was that I thought I would be judged based on my work as a lawyer and not the color of my skin,” he says.

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