History of the Women and the Law Conference

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Inaugurated in 2001, the Women and the Law Conference was the first lecture series in the western United States focusing exclusively on issues related to gender and the law.

Created by Thomas Jefferson Professors Julie Greenberg, Susan Tiefenbrun, and Susan Bisom-Rapp, and fostered by a committed group of faculty, staff and students, the first conference earned rave reviews from its attendees, including practitioners and legal academics. Professor Deborah Rhode of Stanford Law School, a widely acknowledged expert on the status of women in the legal profession, and then-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Legal Profession, delivered the first keynote address.

After her 2003 visit to Thomas Jefferson School of Law, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg generously created the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture Series, at the time one of only two lecture series in the world bearing her name. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecturers Joan Williams, Martha Albertson Fineman, Kathryn Abrams, Vicki Schultz, Rochelle Dreyfuss, Barbara Palmer, Cheryl Hanna, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Stacy Leeds, Sarah Weddington and Susan Williams have delivered presentations on a wide range of topics that have a profound effect on women.

The Women and the Law Project’s conference series is unique in its early interdisciplinary approach and its commitment to bridging the gap between the teaching academy and the practicing bar.

The Conference Series Embodies Five Goals:
  1. Advancing the legal rights of women
  2. Promoting gender-related scholarly work
  3. Facilitating an interdisciplinary dialogue among academics in a variety of disciplines
  4. Enhancing communication about gender issues among jurists, practitioners, legal academics and other specialists working on issues of sex and gender
  5. Sharing the expertise of Thomas Jefferson law faculty with the wider community  

View the WLC History