Letitia Ann James (born October 18, 1958) is an American lawyer, activist and politician. She is a member of the Democratic Party, and is the Attorney General of New York having won the 2018 election to succeed appointed attorney general Barbara Underwood. She is the first African-American and first woman to be elected to the position. James previously served for a decade as a member of the New York City Council, the first black woman to hold citywide office. She represented the 35th Council District, which includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. James chaired the Economic Development and Sanitation Committees, and served on several other committees. She was later elected the New York City Public Advocate in 2013. Born and raised in Brooklyn, James obtained her J.D. degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C., after graduating from Lehman College in The Bronx. She worked as a public defender then was on staff in the New York State Assembly, and worked as an Assistant Attorney General. She first ran for city council and won on the Working Families Party ballot line.