Two of the top lawyers in county government are now Black women

PICTURED ARE ROSALYN GUY-MCCORKLE, ESQ., nominated as Allegheny County Solicitor, Allegheny County Chief Executive Sara Innamorato, and new Allegheny County Chief Public Defender, Lena Bryan-Henderson, Esq.

Lena Bryan-Henderson named Chief Public Defender; Rosalyn Guy-McCorkle nominated as county Solicitor

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Lena Bryan-Henderson, Esq., has been named Allegheny County Chief Public Defender. In addition, Rosalyn Guy-McCorkle, Esq., has been nominated to serve as Allegheny County Solicitor. Both women are African American.

The appointment and nomination were made  by new Allegheny County Chief Executive Sara Innamorato, Jan. 22.


Bryan-Henderson, who is a cousin of former Courier sports editor Eddie Jefferies, has served since 1991 as an Assistant Public Defender in the county Public Defender’s Office. In a release from the county, Bryan-Henderson is described as having “an unwavering commitment to advocating for the indigent and to social justice.” She is a board member for Reimagine Reentry and a member of the Allegheny Lawyers Initiative for Justice. Bryan-Henderson is a founder and vice president of the Pittsburgh Black Lawyers Alliance, a lifelong resident of Allegheny County, a wife and mother of two sons. She received her B.A., Cum Laude, from Howard University in 1987 and earned her Juris Doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law in 1990.

“Her tireless representation of indigent clients in countless jury and non-jury trials is complemented by her expertise in researching, preparing, and arguing pre-trial and post-trial motions, negotiating plea agreements, and providing supervision to a team of trial attorneys,” a release about Bryan-Henderson read, in part.


As for Guy-McCorkle, she was employed as an Assistant County Solicitor at the Allegheny County Department of Law, where  she co-supervised the Title IV-D unit in establishing, modifying, enforcing, and advocating for child support, according to the county’s release. Guy-McCorkle also maintained a private practice focusing mainly on estate and probate issues. As a WBE/MBE certified attorney she has held the following contracts: City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority Hearing Officer, Pittsburgh Board of Education School Code Violation Hearing Officer and Minority Council for PA State Universities in architecture and design litigation, the release said.

Since 2009, Guy-McCorkle has been an Adjunct Professor at the Duquesne University School of Law, teaching Family Law. The release said that Guy-McCorkle is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, where she participates on the Family Law Section Committee and is a member of the Homer S. Brown Division, the Domestic Relations Association of Pennsylvania (DRAP) and the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERISCA).

Guy-McCorkle received her undergraduate degree from West Virginia University in 1986 and her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1990. She is a lifelong resident of Allegheny County, a wife, and mother of two adult children.

“I want to thank these two tremendous public servants for accepting my offer to serve in two of our highest-ranking legal positions at the county,” Innamorato said in a statement. “Rosalyn Guy-McCorkle and Lena Bryan-Henderson have each served the county for more than 30 years. Their combined decades of legal acumen and their demonstrated commitment to the people of Allegheny County is tremendous and they will both be phenomenal additions to my administration.”




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