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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99518 Find in a Library
Title: Women Lawyers and Judges in the Criminal Courts (From Changing Roles of Women in the Criminal Justice System - Offenders, Victims, and Professionals, P 271-275, 1985, Imogene L Moyer, ed. - See NCJ-99505)
Author(s): C Feinman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A historical overview of women as criminal lawyers and judges accompanies recommendations for further research.
Abstract: In 1869, the first woman was admitted to the bar; by 1920, all States admitted women to the bar. During this period, women lawyers usually practiced family, estate, or criminal law or worked in legal aid agencies and law offices as researchers or brief writers. The experiences of those practicing criminal law differed substantially from the experiences of other women lawyers because they defended criminals and tried cases in court. Since 1920, increasing numbers of women have pursued careers as lawyers and judges, largely because of 1964 and 1972 Federal legislation forbidding discrimination on the basis of sex. In 1981, women constituted more than 10 percent of the Nation's lawyers and by 1980 they represented one-third of the total number of law students. Nevertheless, women are still overrepresented in their traditional legal specialties and roles. This pattern has affected the appointment of women to judgeships. In 1981, women made up just over 2 percent of the total number of judges in the United States. A few women were appointed judges even before women became eligible to vote. Since 1920, several women have received appointments to nontraditional judgeships, especially in appellate courts. The appointment of Sandra Day O'Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court and the appointment of Joan B. Carey in 1978 to preside over a New York City criminal court are the two most noteworthy appointments. However, women still have not achieved equal opportunities with men in the legal profession. Six references are listed.
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Criminal justice careers; Equal opportunity employment; Female attorneys; Female judges; Sex discrimination
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