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Amanda

First Woman: Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Sonia Pressman Fuentes is a leading author, feminist lawyer and one of the founders of NOW.  The following is her story of how a she went from fleeing Nazi Germany as a child and went on to become an activist and the first woman lawyer in the EEOC's Office of the General Counsel. It's a truely remarkable journey...I can't wait to read her full memior later this summer! I was born in Berlin, Germany, of Polish Jewish parents in 1928. In 1933, my brother, Hermann, who was fourteen years my senior, saw the threat Hitler posed to Germany's Jews and urged my…

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Ms. JD

‘Miss Jim’ blazed new trail for women in state

Ed. Note: This piece, by Judith Bainbridge, was originally published in The Greenville News and is reprinted here with the author's permission.James Margrave Perry wanted a son.The teacher of stenography and accounting at the Greenville Female College and his wife, a former music instructor at the Due West Female College, had been blessed with two daughters. But he wanted a child to bear his name.When his wife delivered their third daughter in May 1894, he was undeterred. She was named James. Her middle name, Marjory, was about as close to Margrave as it was possible for a female name to…

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jessie

Congratulations to Fernande Duffly, Nominee to the Massachusetts Supreme Court!

Yesterday, Governor Deval Patrick nominated Massachusetts Appeals Court Justice Fernande Duffly to sit on his state's Supreme Judicial Court.  Duffly is Indonesian-born and, if confirmed, would become the court's first Asian-American justice. Duffly is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former attorney at K & L Gates.  She was first appointed to the Family and Probate Court before being promoted to the court of appeals.  She has been a tireless advocate for equality in the profession and is a past president of the National Association of Women Judges.I've had the privilege to work with Justice Duffly through the American…

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Ms. JD

First Woman: U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade

Ms. JD founding member Jill Russell interviewed Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, for our First Women series. Barbara L. McQuade is the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.  She is the first woman to hold this position. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, McQuade served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit for 12 years and as a professor of criminal law. She was Deputy Chief of the National Security Unit, where she prosecuted cases involving terrorism financing, foreign agents, export violations, and threats. During her career as a federal prosecutor, McQuade has also…

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Ms. JD

Summer Reading: Justice Older than the Law By Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Editor's Note: This review was written by Deborah Froling for NAWL's Women Lawyers Journal.  Deborah Froling is a partner with Arent Fox LLP in Washington, D.C.  She has been a member of the Executive Board of NAWL for the past four years and currently serves as its Treasurer-Elect and editor of the Women Lawyers Journal.Before reading “Justice Older than the Law,” I had never heard of Dovey JohnsonRoundtree. I find that astonishing since I’m a news junkie, have spent close to 25 years in the Washington, D.C. area and 23 of those years steeped in the D.C. legal profession. However,…

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jessie

Change I Can Believe In: Obama Nominates Kagan to the High Court

This evening brought the news that President Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill Justice Stevens' seat on the Supreme Court.  As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan was an enthusiastic supporter of Ms. JD, so this is a source of excitement on many levels. Mostly Kagan's nomination to serve as one of three women on the Court is exciting because it represents the breaking of a particularly pernicious glass ceiling: the ascension of a critical mass of women to positions of leadership in the profession.For 20 years women have enjoyed relative parity in law school admissions, but there…

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Kat

Canada’s First Woman Supreme Court Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin, Celebrates Her Tenth Year as Top Judge

"I have always wanted to be known as a good jurist, as a serious jurist," said Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in a recent interview with the Globe and Mail, marking her tenth year as top judge. It appears that she has, without a doubt, succeeded. McLachlin has presided over thousands of cases in a 29-year career on the bench. Lately, the Court has tackled difficult press freedom and free expression issues. And McLachlin still feels the pressue of making difficult decisions. "They are all really, really important issues at this level," she said. "One does ponder them,…

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JSilverbrook

Ms. JD at William & Mary: A Lunch with Justice O’Connor

Ed. note: This weekend Justice O'Connor participated in a round-table discussion with fifteen law students. Julie Silverbrook, Ms. JD's liaison to William & Mary's Women's Law Society had these reflections to share: Fifteen lucky students arrived for Saturday’s lunch with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with tickets in hand and questions on their minds. Questions ranged from the current state of the legal profession to judicial accountability. The question that seemed to be at the top of everyone’s mind was the most obvious for a group of intellectually curious students: which case had Justice O’Connor struggled with the…

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Anonymous

Doris Brin Walker Dies at Age 90

Politically radical attorney Doris Brin Walker died at a San Francisco hospital last week. She was 90. Walker graduated from Boalt Hall in 1942, the only woman in her class. She was elected the first woman president of the National Lawyers Guild in 1970. She as fired from her first firm job, allegedly because she was a women. In 1972, Walker defended Angela Davis in what Harvard University law professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. called "clearly the trial of the 20th century, and one that exemplified the vast and diverse talents of the true Dream Team of the legal profession."…

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jessie

Justice Ginsburg on Sotomayor, Gender & the Court, & Roe

This week's New York Times Magazine features Emily Bazelon's interview with Justice Ginsburg. It's relatively juicy stuff, given how guarded the Justices generally are. Ginsburg talks about Judge Sotomayor, feeling alone - even ignored - at conference, and how she thinks precedents on reproductive rights and discrimination should and will change. My favorite tidbits were explanations of the Justice's work-out routine and her quip that if the court were mostly women "[t]he work would not be any easier. Some of the amenities might improve." Another highlight involved the impact O'Connor's retirement has had on Justice Ginsburg's experience. Q: What has…

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