Category: women in law

Barbara Calvert (1926-2015) was a barrister sp…

Barbara Calvert (1926-2015) was a barrister specialising in
family law. She was the first woman Head of Chambers in the United Kingdom.

She
finished her studied at the London School of Economics and started her profession
at a time when only 3% of barristers were women. In 1974, she established her
own chambers in London, the first woman ever to do so in the country. She was
also the first woman elected as a Bencher of the Middle Temple.

Jane Bolin (1908-2007) was a lawyer and judge …

Jane
Bolin
(1908-2007) was a lawyer and judge who
achieved a number of historic firsts. She was the first black woman to graduate
from Yale Law School, the first to join the New York City Bar Association and
the first to serve as a judge in the United States.

She graduated from Yale Law School in 1931,
from a class where she was the only black student and one of three women. She
was appointed as a judge in 1939 and served in this position for 40 years. She
was also a legal advisor to the National Council of Negro Women and an activist
for education and children’s rights.

Karinna Moskalenko (b. 1954) is the leading hu…

Karinna
Moskalenko
(b. 1954)
is the leading human rights lawyer in Russia. She and her team have won 27
cases against the Russian government at the European Court of Human Rights,
including the very first one that the Court heard against the Russian
Federation.

She is a member of the
human rights organisation Moscow Helsinki Group, as well as the Media Legal
Defence Initiative, which provides legal aid to journalists and media
organizations worldwide. In 2008 she was the victim of an attempted mercury
poisoning.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898-1989) was…

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander
(1898-1989) was a trailbrazer for
African American women in the academic environment. She was the first
African-American woman to obtain a PhD in economics in the United States, as
well as the first to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

She was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School in 1923
as its first female African-American student, and was the first to graduate in
1927, the same year she was admitted to the state Bar. She later served as the
President of the John F. Kennedy Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Karen DeCrow (1937-2014) was an American attor…

Karen DeCrow (1937-2014)
was an American attorney and feminist. She was a strong supporter of equal child
custody rights, arguing that men as well as women should be able to care for
their children after divorce.

She was the only
woman in her class at the Syracuse University College of Law, where she earned
her Juris Doctor. She served as the President of the National Organization for
Women for three years, during which time she pressured NASA to recruit female
astronauts and established a taskforce for battered women.

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (b. 1958) is the cu…

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (b. 1958) is the
current president of Malta, the youngest person and the second woman to hold
this position. She has been in office since 2014.

She has a degree in Legal and Humanistic Studies
and a public notary diploma. In 2014, after taking over the presidency of the
country, she established The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of
Society, a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting social inclusion and
higher living standards.

Caroline Kennedy (b. 1957) is the daughter of …

Caroline Kennedy (b. 1957)
is the daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy. She is an attorney and diplomat
who served as the US Ambassador to Japan and dedicated her career to law and
politics.

She studied at
Harvard and later earned a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. She has
written two books on civil liberties and supported Democratic candidates for
the US presidency, endorsing causes such as same-sex marriage and abortion
rights.

Gertrude Rush (1880-1962) was the first Africa…

Gertrude Rush (1880-1962) was the first African-American female lawyer in the state of Iowa. She achieved this in 1914, and remained the only African-American woman to practice law in the state for almost 40 years.

In 1921 she became president of the Colored Bar Association. She helped found the Negro Bar Association (known today as the National Bar Association) in 1925, along with other four black lawyers, after they were denied admission to the American Bar Association.

Leah Ward Sears (b. 1955) is a former Chief Ju…

Leah Ward Sears (b. 1955) is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Upon her appointment in 1992, she became the first African-American woman to serve as Chief Justice in the United States, as well as the first woman and the youngest member of Georgia’s Supreme Court.

She also served as a fellow of the Institute of American Values, and taught at the University of Georgia Law School. She is a founder of the Battered Women’s Project in Columbus, Georgia.

Loretta Lynch (b. 1959) served as the Attorney…

Loretta Lynch (b. 1959) served as the Attorney General of the United States from 2015 to 2017. She was the first African-American woman appointed to the position.

She graduated from Harvard Law School and was first US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. She investigated numerous high-profile crimes and corruption cases during her time in office.