A communications conference hosted by ABA-affiliate NABE is what took me to the Garden City. And the sessions—not to mention the city itself—provided eye-opening moments of wonder.
Today, though, I mention not the great conference, but a magazine—specifically the Georgia Bar Journal. On a routine basis, they put out a great journal. But this month, their entire issue is an idea worth stealing: They explored the history of women lawyers in Georgia.
Leading off the package of stories is a gem that tells the story of Minnie Hale Daniel, who fought for and won the right to be admitted as Georgia’s first woman lawyer. The article opens:
“A woman lawyer! Help us to keep our girls at the fireside and let our young mothers raise, by the help of God, boys to speak and vote and live the life they would live if He had made them men; and O for a Paul to command our women to keep silence and be keepers of the home,” exclaimed a Georgia state legislator in August 2011, quoting a mother’s letter to him.
Hale eventually won her fight—and her fight on behalf of countless other women—and was licensed to practice law on August 21, 1916. Her achievement has had no noticeable impact on the ability of boys to speak and vote and live.
If you’re wondering why this is still important and crucial in 2016. Just. Don’t. Even. I mean, even the economic challenges still faced by women attorneys are substantial. And those are merely the most quantifiable slights; things get worse.
I’m helping to produce a panel discussion on gender equity in the legal profession for a national conference in Miami next February, and I’m pleased to have this magazine issue as a resource. And as we look toward 2017 and beyond at Arizona Attorney Magazine, we would do well to follow the lead of our smart friends in Georgia. Well done.
Below is an image of a letter Winnie Hale sent to Georgia lawmakers. You have to love her line, “It is my one ambition to be granted a license in Georgia. I am entitled to such, whether I practice LAW in Georgia or China.” Pioneering spirit, that.Follow @azatty