AALS Section on Women in Legal Education Oral History Project

The AALS Section on Women in Legal Education Oral History Project was established in 2014 to record the histories of women law professors and the unique paths that many women in the legal academy have forged. The project seeks to record the experiences of many well-known scholars and administrators contributing to women’s perspectives on law and legal education or specific disciplines, as well as capturing the broad diversity of women faculty members and their contributions to the legal academy.

By watching these histories, new law professors will be able to understand the challenges, both personal and professional, that the first waves of women law professors faced. We hope they will be able to connect their own challenges to this history, learning how their experiences are both the same and different from these pioneers. Scholars of the legal profession will also learn much about the challenges and accomplishments that women have faced in the legal academy.

History helps those who come after us identify, more quickly, the obstacles placed in their path, and learn how others have overcome similar obstacles. Like all traditions, history creates community—it forms a bond between generations that encourages the creation of friendships across disciplinary and generational lines. History also creates a sense of solidarity with other women who have made choices and encountered difficulties in the legal academy, and reminds women law professors and deans that we contribute to something larger than our own professional lives or even our own law schools’ histories.

We hope you enjoy this collection of videos.

Marie Failinger
Professor of Law
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Coordinator, AALS Section on Women in Legal Education Oral History Project

Women in Legal Education Oral History Videos

Azizah Y. al-Hibri (University of Richmond School of Law) interviewed by Marie Failinger (Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in 2015.

Barbara Babcock, Crown Professor of Law, Emerita, Stanford Law School and author of Fish Raincoats: A Woman Lawyer’s Life (a memoir) and Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz (a biography of the first woman lawyer in the west) delivers the New york City Bar Association’s Annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law in May 2018. Welcome by Roger Juan Maldonado, President, New York City Bar Association. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court of the United States.

A transcript of Professor Babcock’s 2006 oral history interview for the ABA Women Trailblazers Project can be read here.

A conversation between Margaret “Peg” Brinig (Notre Dame Law School) and Nell Newton (Notre Dame Law School) in 2019.

Martha Chamallas (Ohio State Moritz College of Law) interviewed by Carol Chomsky (University of Minnesota Law School) in 2017.

Ruth Colker (Ohio State Moritz College of Law) interviewed by Marie Failinger (Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in 2015.

Karen Czapanskiy (University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette University Law School) in 2020. An audio recording of this interview can be heard here.

Nancy Dowd (University of Florida Levin College of Law) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette University Law School) in 2018.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg interviewed by Marina Angel (Temple University Beasley School of Law) in 2014.

Read a Q&A with Justice Ginsburg and Herma Hill Kay at the 2015 AALS Annual Meeting.

Julie A. Greenberg (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) interviewed by Meera Deo (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) in 2018.

Phoebe A. Haddon (Rutgers Law School) interviewed by Ruth Anne Robbins (Rutgers Law School) in 2019.

Emily Hartigan (St. Mary’s University School of Law) interviewed by Marie Failinger (Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in 2016.

Joan Howarth (Michigan State University College of Law) interviewed by Patricia Salkin (Touro College) in 2018.

Mary Kay Kane (University of California, Hastings College of the Law) interviewed by Marie Failinger (Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in 2017.

Herma Hill Kay (University of California, Berkeley School of Law) interviewed by Meera Deo (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) in 2015.

A brief history of Lutie A. Lytle, one of the first Black women to graduate from a U.S. law school and work in the legal profession. Introduction by Taja-Nia Henderson (Rutgers Law School).

Carrie Menkel-Meadow (University of California, Irvine School of Law) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette University Law School) in 2018.

Wendy Collins Perdue (2018 AALS President and Dean, University of Richmond School of Law) interviewed by Emily Cherry (University of Richmond School of Law) in 2017.

Margaret Jane Radin (University of Michigan Law School) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette University Law School) in 2016.

Deborah L. Rhode (Stanford Law School) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette University Law School) in 2016. Read an August 2017 Stanford Magazine article about Professor Rhode’s accomplishments on Medium.

Nadine Strossen (New York Law School) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette University Law School).

Louise Trubek (University of Wisconsin Law School) interviewed by Lisa Mazzie (Marquette UniversityLaw School) in 2015.