It’s Women’s History Month, and I could be remiss if I didn’t say something approximately it for the duration of the month inside the context of ladies lawyers, which, as you recognize, is a favorite subject matter of mine.
While I don’t forget all too well how few women legal professionals there had been after I started out in dinosaur days (Jimmy Carter had simply been elected President) and what sort of better the panorama looks greater than forty years later, women lawyers on this USA nevertheless have a protracted manner to go to achieve complete gender and profits parity, and it received’t be in my lifetime.
I am reading First, Evan Thomas’s specified and admiring biography of Sandra Day O’Connor and remembering how it wasn’t all that long in the past (less than 40 years) that President Reagan fulfilled his marketing campaign promise of putting a lady at the Supreme Court. Justice O’Connor changed into first, however as we all understand now, luckily not final.
Whether you agree or now not with Justice O’Connor’s jurisprudence, she has led the manner for other women legal professionals (Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan) to sign up for the Supreme Court and for that on my own, I assume that all girls legal professionals are forever in her debt.
While I just like the idea of “first” (instead of “none”), I can’t wait (and it’ll in all likelihood be when I’m taking a dust nap) until “first” is not a large deal or any deal at all for ladies attorneys. Charlotte E. Ray turned into the first African-American girl legal professional in this country, but after a few discouraging years in exercise, she became to coaching alternatively. Stories like which are less common these days, however, they’re nonetheless available.
I don’t recognize if Women’s History Month is celebrated in any other country, however, I’m curious about the memories of girls lawyers distant places, who blazed trails of their countries as women lawyers. So, for example, Cornelia Sorabji changed into the primary lady to graduate from Bombay University, the primary woman to look at regulation at Oxford, the first lady propose in India, and the primary girl to exercise each in India and Britain.
Other examples of “first” girls attorneys and judges appear in this text compiled by means of the Library of Congress. It figuratively spans the globe.  Each vignette is captivating and well worth more than my point out here.
However, as hard and lengthy a street as we nonetheless should go, it’s way tougher for girls lawyers ensure international locations around the arena. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, while several thousand ladies have law ranges, the wide variety of girls clearly certified to practice is a long way, for much less.  The article, written three years in the past, is a fascinating take a look at the special world of women legal professionals in Saudi Arabia, and the small subset of those who are actually licensed. It’s also a captivating observe the different cultural problems that girls lawyers face there. I don’t understand approximately you, but I would be surprisingly frustrated if I had the law degree however couldn’t get certified, likely akin to what humans on this u. S. Feel after repeated failed attempts to pass anything kingdom bar they need for licensure here.
Being a human rights legal professional and a lady in a rustic that doesn’t price the contributions of women and/or human rights lawyering have to be incredibly tough. Read the tale of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lady and human rights lawyer in Iran. Imagine being sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes (yes, you study that right) for protecting ladies protesting the united states of america’s obligatory scarf regulation. Whatever “benchslap” or sentence a court docket might hand down here inside the States, 148 lashes or even one lash (apart from an excellent tongue lashing) would now not be a part of the sentencing scheme here.

Amnesty International is circulating a petition protesting Sotoudeh’s sentence. Please sign it. I did. Whatever your private feelings may be about this NGO, that is a legal professional doing her job and as lawyers, we need to guide her. Shouldn’t we arise for lawyers doing their jobs in the toughest of situations?  Just believe if this changed into any individual folks doing what legal professionals do and struggling those varieties of results for what we are purported to do. We all say it couldn’t manifest right here, however one never knows and I desire us in no way study.

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