Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz (Hardcover)

Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz By Barbara Babcock Cover Image

Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz (Hardcover)


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Woman Lawyer tells the story of Clara Foltz, the first woman admitted to the California Bar. Famous in her time as a public intellectual, leader of the women's movement, and legal reformer, Foltz faced terrific prejudice and well-organized opposition to women lawyers as she tried cases in front of all-male juries, raised five children as a single mother, and stumped for political candidates. She was the first to propose the creation of a public defender to balance the public prosecutor. Woman Lawyer uncovers the legal reforms and societal contributions of a woman celebrated in her day, but lost to history until now. It casts new light on the turbulent history and politics of California in a period of phenomenal growth and highlights the interconnection of the suffragists and other movements for civil rights and legal reforms.

Barbara Babcock, Judge John Crown Professor of Law, Emerita, at Stanford University, is the first woman appointed to the regular faculty at Stanford Law School. She served as an Assistant Attorney General and was the first Director of the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C.
Product Details ISBN: 9780804743587
ISBN-10: 0804743584
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: January 5th, 2011
Pages: 392
Language: English

"By rescuing Clara Foltz's story from relative obscurity, Babcock has provided a powerful reminder of women's strength in the face of adversity, their will to overcome difficulties, and, together with sympathique brothers-in-law, to work toward a system of justice accessible and fair to all. Women Lawyer should engage feminists of my era and my children's generation, and history buffs of any age; most of all, the book should amaze and inspire young women and public defenders just embarking on their lives in the law."—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stanford Law Review

"For Barbara Babcock, a distinguished legal historian who is herself a feminist pioneer . . . this book is clearly a labor of love, but also of identification. Babcock recognizes that the women we write about are not always model heroines; they have flaws, make mistakes, and choose differently from what we might have chosen. She tells Foltz's tale with commendable dispassion, never too close to her subject nor too critical, yet with her own perspective 'as a trial lawyer, a public defender, a first woman, and a feminist' shaping the account in both the selection and treatment of her material."—Rosemary Auchmuty, Feminist Legal Studies

"Babcock is at her best in Woman Lawyer . . . giving just enough information to whet the appetite."—Tracy Thomas, Journal of American History

"The book is rich in history, and as entertaining and lively as its subject."—Barbara Kate Repa, California Lawyer

"[T]his is a magnificent book establishing Clara Foltz's foundational work for women's employment rights, female suffrage, and the public defender's office."—Gordon Bakken, H-Net Reviews