Professor Laurie Levenson recently reviewed Rebels at the Bar: The Fascinating, Forgotten Stories of America's First Women Lawyers in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Excerpt:
The book jacket may say it all. Three of the most prominent women scholars of our time, Stanford's Deborah Rhode (Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law) and Barbara Babcock (Judge John Crown Professor of Law), and Yale's Linda Greenhouse (Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Senior Fellow at Yale Law School), describe Jill Norgren's, Rebels at the Bar: The Fascinating, Forgotten Stories of America's First Women Lawyers, as providing "detail and lively prose," told "with awe and gratitude," and a tribute to "bold, brave women." Yet, that is not the real story. The real story is told by the titles of each of these modern women legal luminaries. Each holds a prestigious title at a prestigious law school in the name of -- prestigious men.
Rebels at the Bar describes the struggles of a handful of women who sought to break the gender barrier for women becoming lawyers in the 19th century. Who were these women and what prompted them to fight the good fight? How did they manage to "lean in" when there were no harnesses to hold them? Norgren tells the story of how they clawed their way into the legal profession -- they did not have it easy. While today's women lawyers still struggle for equality, there is no doubt that our path was made possible by the sacrifices of these pioneers. They started the journey for us. The least we can do is pay attention to the lessons they learned.
Read the full review.