Fighting for women’s rights has been a struggle for years, especially in the legal field. Over the years, the fights for equal representation, the right to work, suffrage, and equality of the sexes could not have been accomplished without the help of dedicated female legal professionals. Through their trailblazing work, these five women have revolutionized legal work in the United States with their determination, commitment to justice, and overall passion for success.
Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and has since become one of the most prominent female role models in American history as the nation’s first African American first lady. She worked at Sidley & Austin as a specialist in intellectual property law, where she also met Barack Obama, her future husband.
She started the Let’s Move campaign as first lady, an initiative to combat childhood obesity. She spearheaded efforts to increase access to wholesome food in underserved populations and to provide more nutrient-dense food alternatives in schools. Also, she aggressively urged schoolchildren to pursue their education beyond high school.
Ketanji Brown Jackson
Ketanji Brown Jackson attended Harvard University for both her undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees, graduating magna cum laude with both degrees. From there, she spent two years as a lawyer at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, two years as a federal assistant defense attorney in Washington, D.C., and three years again in private practice. From 2010 until 2014, she then worked for the U.S. Sentencing Commission as a vice chairwoman and commissioner. In 2021, President Joe Biden named her to the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and in 2022, he proposed her as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 30, 2022, she took her place on the court as the first Black woman to become a SCOTUS justice.
After earning her law degree from Harvard, she became the first African American woman to hold the attorney general office. She held the position of attorney general twice, under the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She supported the prosecution of crimes committed during the Rwandan genocide during her two terms. She also had a significant impact on the prosecution of the Brooklyn police officers who beat and harassed Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
Arabella Mansfield is the first female attorney in American legal history. She aced the Iowa state bar exam in 1869 even though only men were allowed to sit for it. After passing the bar exam, Iowa repealed its ban on women attorneys, making her the first female attorney in American history. Despite clearing the bar, she chose to pursue a degree in education and activism rather than law. She passed away a few years before women’s suffrage was finally secured, but she worked fervently for the cause throughout her lifetime.
Ruth Bader-Ginsburg became one of the first female law instructors at both Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School after earning her law degree from Columbia Law School in 1959. She fiercely pushed for women’s rights and held the position of director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. President Jimmy Carter asked her to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. in 1980. She served there until she was appointed as a justice on the Supreme Court in 1993, advocating for civil rights, workers’ rights, and gender equality while serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supporting Women in the Legal Field
Without the contributions of these amazing women, the legal field as we know it would not be the same. At Lamar Law Group, we aim to highlight and celebrate women’s contributions to the legal field by hiring a team of predominantly female lawyers. For female-led representation you can count on, contact us today for a consultation.