Women Pioneers in the Law

How much has the practice of law changed for women attorneys since the 1960s?

The American Bar Association's "Women Trailblazers in the Law Project" is nearly its goal of archiving 100 interviews with women who entered the legal field in the 1960s or earlier, according to Michael Smith’s “In Their Own Words: Preserving the Life Histories of Women Trailblazers in the Law” in the DC Bar Association's magazine, Washington Lawyer.

The project highlights the huge challenges women lawyers faced, as well how these pioneers in the law changed the legal sector and the American workplace to benefit all Americans. Some of their contributions include pushing for the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and key civil rights gains. Some of the attorneys whose legal careers and challenges are profiled in Smith's article include:

  • Sara-Ann Determan, of counsel at Hogan Lovells

  • Jamie Gorelick, partner at WilmerHale LLP

  • Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women's Law Center

  • Judith Lichtman, senior advisor at the National Partnership for Women & Families, formerly known as the Women's Legal Defense Fund

  • Marna Tucker, founder and senior partner at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP