My service as chair of the Section on Women in Legal Education ("Section") was rather unusual. I started serving on the Executive Committee in 1999 and became Chair-Elect in 2001. Veryl Miles (Catholic) was Chair for 2001 but became Deputy Director of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in August that year, so I served out her term as Interim Chair from August 1 to December 31, 2001. Then I became Chair-Elect again in 2002 (because I was on sabbatical that year and could not serve as Chair) and Vernellia Randall agreed to step in as Chair. I served as Chair in 2003 and presided over Section events at the 2004 Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
Many of the issues facing the Women's Section when I was chair reminded me of those faced by Clara Shortridge Foltz. I was awarded a professorship honoring Clara Shortridge Foltz from California Western in May 2008, and researched Clara's life prior to receiving the professorship. As many of you may know, based on Barbara Babcock's excellent work as Clara's biographer, Clara was the first female lawyer admitted to the bar in California, was instrumental in adding protections against sex discrimination in employment and education into the California Constitution, and helped create the first public defenders' offices in the country. The rest of this article discusses the issues raised in the 2001 and 2003 Section newsletters and the issues raised in the Section's panels at the 2004 annual meeting, some of which are similar to ones that Clara faced.
Barbara J. Cox, The Gendered Aspects of Social Justice Work and Occupational Segregation in the Legal Academy: A Review of 2003, 80 UMKC L. REV. 787 (2012).