Jean Murrell Capers is a practicing attorney and a retired Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 1949, she became the first African-American councilwoman for Cleveland. Throughout her years she worked in Cleveland’s prosecutor’s office, served as an assistant state attorney general, and in 1977, Capers was appointed a Cleveland Municipal Court judge and won the election to a full term. Judge Capers grew up knowing the importance of education. Both her parents graduated college from State Normal School for Colored Persons in Kentucky and became teachers. Jean Murrell Capers used the opportunity and graduated from Western Reserve University, in 1932 with a degree in education. She taught for five years, first at an elementary school and then as the health and physical education teacher at a local high school.
Jean Murrell Capers felt she could help her community more with the law so she earned her degree from Cleveland Law School in 1945. Jean Murrell Capers was one of the original members of the Women’s Advisory Council of the Women’s Division at the former Ohio Bureau of Employment Services. Jean Murrell Capers was one of the original members of the Women’s Advisory Council of the Women’s Division at the former Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, now known as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.