You are here

Finding Justice

A History of Women Lawyers in Maryland since 1642
Edited by Lynne A. Battaglia


BUY Cloth · 352 pp. · 8 × 10 · ISBN 9781938086298 · $65.00 · May 2015

Although women were not officially permitted to practice law in Maryland until 1902, when they were first able to sit for the bar exam, the history of women acting as lawyers in Maryland is storied, going back to the earliest decades of colonial America. Today, of course, women serve not only as lawyers but also as judges, professors, and elected officials, and from anywhere in local government to the U.S. Senate. Finding Justice tells the remarkable story of how women overcame historical obstacles—legal, social, and economic—to enter the legal profession and how their pioneering work has influenced the practice of law and society at large.

Finding Justice offers the first comprehensive overview of the contributions women have made to the legal profession in Maryland, including detailed chapters on the history of women as lawyers since 1642; how social and political movements, both national and local, influenced women’s access to the legal profession during the early twentieth century; how women of color had to overcome barriers of race and gender to become lawyers; how community support, especially from family members and mentors, was crucial in helping women overcome the obstacles to law careers; and oral histories that reveal the personal stories of many women lawyers. The volume also contains an educational CD with the first-ever-compiled list of the nearly 25,000 women who have been admitted to the bar in Maryland.

Finding Justice is a scholarly tour de force. Even as the book presents the past accomplishments of women lawyers, the difficulties they overcame, and what resources were critical to their achievements, it also looks to the future, for women still face unique obstacles in pursuing legal careers. By understanding better the history of women lawyers, it is hoped that the future of law in Maryland and the United States will be one of increased diversity and accessibility.

Contributors: Phoebe A. Haddon, Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden and former Dean of the University of Maryland School of Law * The Honorable Andrea M. Leahy, Maryland Court of Special Appeals * The Honorable Diane O. Leasure, retired from the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Maryland * Michelle R. Mitchell, attorney and shareholder in the firm of Wharton, Levin, Ehrmantraut & Klein * Jane C. Murphy, Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore * The Honorable Julie Rubin, Associate Judge, Baltimore City Circuit Court, Eighth Judicial Circuit

Distributed for George F. Thompson Publishing in association with the Maryland Women’s Bar Association Foundation and the University of Baltimore Foundation

About the Author: 

The Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia has been a Maryland Court of Appeals Judge from the Third Appellate Circuit since 2001. She has received numerous honors and awards, including, in 2007, being elected to membership in the American Law Institute and, in 2010, being inducted into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame. She currently serves as Chair of the Maryland Professionalism Center and as Chair of the Women Lawyers in Maryland Project.

Interested in this topic?
Stay updated with our newsletters:

Related Books