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New York Governor David Paterson Rejects All-Male Judicial Appointment List of Candidates

On Wednesday, December 3rd, New York Governor David Paterson held a press conference where he critized a list of candidates for chief judge of the state Court of Appeals. "I don't accept," he said, "that there wasn't a woman in this state that was qualified to serve on the Court of Appeals." The list of candidates was issued by a state commission. Under state law, the governor technically must choose a candidate from amongst the commission's selection of candidates. By refusing to accept the commission's list of candidates, Governor Paterson is entering previously unchartered water. He has asked New York…

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Women of the Missouri Court:  First Event to feature the only four women who have served on the Missouri Supreme Court

In all of Missouri’s history, only four women have served on the state Supreme Court. The Women’s Law Association (WLA) at the University of Missouri School of Law hosted the first event ever to feature and honor these four women. On Wednesday November 12, 2008 Judge Ann Covington, Judge Mary Russell, Judge Patricia Breckenridge, and current Justice Laura Stith sat on a panel together at the Law School to discuss the journey women have in the legal profession and future progress. The judges spoke for over an hour to a courtroom packed with law students and professors. In all the…

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Election 2008, More Female Firsts

NH Makes History With First State Senate With Female Majority: New Hampshire’s State Senate is now unlike any in the country and unlike any before it. After Tuesday’s election, women now make up the majority of the New Hampshire State Senate. In an election year that saw Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Nancy Pelosi grab headlines and airtime across the country, New Hampshire didn’t just vote blue, it voted for women.  Perdue becomes N.C.'s first female governor: Democrat Beverly Perdue will step into North Carolina's Executive Mansion as the next governor and the first woman to hold that job....Perdue, 61,…

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Ms. JD

Election Victories for Women Lawyers

Contested seats go to women in Wake's district court: Three women -- Jacqueline Brewer, Christine Walczyk and Anna E. Worley -- earned spots on Wake County's District Court benches, beating out their male opponents in Tuesday's election. The three races at the District Court level were the only contested ones in the Wake County Courthouse, with most of the 11 District Court judges running unopposed for re-election. A historic victory for Alvarez: Democrat Anita Alvarez won her bid Tuesday to become the first Hispanic and first woman state's attorney in Cook County, handing Republican Tony Peraica his second countywide election…

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Ms. JD

Michelle Obama: Lawyer and First Lady

Michelle Obama, lawyer and wife of President-Elect Barack Obama, is now about to assume the role of first lady. In honor of this event, Ms. JD offers this brief biography of Michelle Obama: Michelle Obama was born on the South Side of Chicago, and graduated with her undergraduate degree from Princeton University. She then attended Harvard Law School. While there, she participated in political demonstrations, especially advocating for the hiring of a diverse faculty. Upon graduation, she returned to work in Chicago. Michelle Obama worked for the law firm Sidley Austin, on the staff of the Mayor of Chicago Richard…

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Clippings: Envisioning a Successful Female Presidential Candidate

Kate Zernicki makes some predictions about who, after Senator Clinton, will be the next serious female contender for the Presidency: That woman will come from the South, or west of the Mississippi. She will be a Democrat who has won in a red state, or a Republican who has emerged from the private sector to run for governor. She will have executive experience, and have served in a job like attorney general, where she will have proven herself to be “a fighter” (a caring one, of course).She will be young enough to qualify as postfeminist (in the way Senator Barak…

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Southern Ms. Part III: Networking

This week the female clerks in my building are gathering for our second "Wine on Wednesday." Wednesday was chosen because that's when the male clerks in the building hold practice for their all-male basketball league. For many years I've heard the stories about the exclusion of women from valuable athletics-based networking events. Whether it be the company softball team or the annual super-bowl pool, these always seemed like tell-tale signs of latent discrimination. I've also heard about the mani-pedi events firms organize for women to compensate, and then how these events were terminated due to IRS crackdowns. Having never been…

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The Permanent Clerk

Working with a law clerk at a federal court as an externship, I became amazed at how much work these permanent clerks actually accomplish. The permanent law clerk and her secretary essentially run the courtroom and chambers, assigning our work, going through the docket and giving the judges his cases, and even briefing him on every case.Although the law clerks and the secretaries do tend to be women, the law clerks, for the most part, are all practicing attorneys who at one point practiced in the private sector and have a degree of specialization in some area of the law...…

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Observations of a Judicial Extern

I am spending my summer working for a (female) judge. Since there is not much on the site regarding women in government jobs, I have decided to share some observations I have made over the past few weeks. There are over 30 externs working where I am situated. There are about twice as many female externs as male externs. I have several thoughts as to why this may be the case, but of course they are just my thoughts, and are not substantiated by much (or any) investigatory work on my part. It seems most (if not all) of the…

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Sabrina Ross

From Rural Nicaragua to Corporate America, Women Change Landscapes

My experience as a woman entering the legal profession is perhaps as much about history as it is about the future.In part, my entrance is shaped by my pre-existing commitment to using the law to advance equality where the nexus of race, gender, disability, and other qualities currently locates inequality, both de facto and de jure. I will start with an example of this commitment, and the view it affords: working in Nicaragua, I would often assess the results of our organization's small grants to feminist projects. One day on such an assignment, equipped with a two-minute brief on the…

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