Women in the Judiciary
Constance Baker Motley: Equal Justice Under Law
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998
"When I was about fifteen, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. No
one thought this was a good idea, and I received no encouragement...I was the kind of
person who would not be put down."
In her autobiography Equal Justice Under Law, Judge Motley acknowledges the remarkable people who enabled her to go to college and law school at a time when this country was still trying to climb out of the Great Depression. More significantly, it was a time when the number of women in law school was small, and the numbers of black women as law students, even rarer.
"When I got to Columbia Law School I found that the student body included several other women like myself who were determined to become lawyers, notwithstanding the hard-nosed, antiwomen bias in the profession."
Constance Baker Motley applauds the accomplishments of her women
classmates: Bella Abzug, elected to Congress; Beatrice Shainswit, New York Supreme Court
judge; Charlotte Smallwood Cook, first woman to be elected a district attorney in New York
State; Elaine Friedman, Naomi Levine, Gloria Agrin and Judith Vladeck, successful