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Trailblazers Exhibit at the Law Library

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

The Charles B. Sears Law Library is honored to be hosting the exhibit Women Attorney Trailblazers in New York State. The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law created the traveling exhibit to highlight ten remarkable women:

  • Kate Stoneman (first woman admitted to practice law in NY)
  • Mary M. Lilly (first women attorney elected to NY state legislature)
  • Jane Matilda Bolin (first black woman judge in the US)
  • Florence Perlow Shientag (first woman federal prosecutor in NY)
  • Charlotte Smallwood-Cook (first woman district attorney in NY)
  • Shirley Adelson Siegel (chief of NYS Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau, NY Solicitor General)
  • Constance Baker Motley (key civil rights lawyer, first black woman federal judge)
  • Maryann Saccomando Freedman (first woman president of the NY State Bar Association)
  • Geraldine Anne Ferraro (US Congresswoman, first woman nominated for Vice President by a major party)
  • Judith S. Kaye (first woman appointed to the NY Court of Appeals, First woman Chief Judge of the State of New York)

From the NYSBA:

These ten women attorneys were among the pioneers for women in the legal profession. They faced and surmounted obstacle after obstacle—initially women were excluded from admission to the bar, from membership in bar associations, the source of case referrals and endorsements, and faced widespread discrimination in hiring, particularly at private firms.

And despite these obstacles—or even because they had to develop extraordinary skills to surmount them—the ten women attorneys highlight in the Committee on Women in the Law’s new exhibit … were able to break into the legal profession and make significant contributions, paving a way for generations of women attorneys.

Stop by the Law Library until November 19 to view the exhibit. Be sure to pay special attention to Maryann Saccomando Freedman’s panel—she’s an alum!