Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Honoree
Mary Alice Franklin was born in Arcadia, Louisiana April 21st, 1946. She was the second of twelve children born to Dewitt and Dorothy Franklin. She was most notable for starting and ending every conversation with “Dear,” a term of endearment, meaning everyone is cherished, loved, and valued.
Mary grew up and received her formal education in San Diego, where she attended Memorial Jr High and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of San Diego and her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. She also held a Lifetime Teaching Credential from the California Community Colleges.
Mary was a prestigious, devoted, well-rounded attorney for over forty years. Her specialty was Criminal Law. She was committed to fighting for women’s rights and was instrumental in forming the Battered Women’s Shelters across the country. She was a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys providing defense to the indigent in federal court, and she was a co-founder along with Patricia Robinson of the first Black women-owned law firm in San Diego, where they provided a defense to the indigent and the not indigent in state court.
Some of her accolades include, but are not limited to Trial Lawyer of the Year, NASSCO Women-of the Year, President of the Women’s Criminal Defense Bar Association, American Business Women’s ‘Associate of the Year and President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association to name a few.