Throughout history women have had fewer rights and opportunities in their life in terms of careers than men. They were regarded to take up roles as mothers and become wives as their professions. However women have been taking up professions that had been segregated to be for the men. They have fought hard to change the working environment and professions by becoming more involved and even proving that they are better in some of these professions. Among the professions that the women have struggled over the years to join and become part of is the legal profession.
Over the years the profession was identified to be the preserve of men. This paper discusses how and when the female attorneys and judges infiltrated the profession highlighting who they serve and two ways in which they affect the society in general and the future of the professions. The first women attorneys and judges were actually wives before they joined the profession. They had to fight for the right to get an education since at the time it was considered to be for the men. They battled to get admission to join law schools and get the legal education required to become attorneys and lawyers.
This was during the 20th century when more women became more interested in joining the profession. The first woman lawyer in America was Myra Colby Brad well who passed her exams in 1868 but her certification to the bar was denied on the grounds that she was a married woman (Epstein , pp 33). In 1873, the Supreme Court however stated that her admission to the Illinois Supreme Court had denied her the rights she was entitled to. It argued that the women were not limited to the roles at home neither were they weak or irrational.
The ruling gave way to other women attorneys and judges to join the profession over the years. In the year 1872, the first black woman was able to graduate and formally enter the profession in America (University of Michigan , para 1). Charlotte E. Ray graduated from one of the American law schools and this motivated other black women to formally enter the practice. By the year 1930, women lawyers and judges made up 2% of all the American lawyers and judges and the number grew since by the year 1989 the women made up 22% (Women’s International Center , para 21).
Most of the women attorneys and judges tend to go and serve for more social causes compared to the men. They identify several needs in their societies and beyond and choose to focus their professions towards them. Some of the women lawyers are known to have served women with special needs in the community. They also tackle the issues that affect women in the society such as discrimination at the work place, rape, domestic violence among others. The women attorneys seek to develop and promote efforts that assist women and the entire society to move upward in social economic activities.
They also help other women to get equal treatment despite their religion and their cultures. The women attorneys and judges have impacted the society in general by practicing law. Their entrance into the legal world has led to a change in the approach of law. Most of the women adopt a value and caring approach to the legal issues that face them. They have also used their experiences in life to transform the profession. This has allowed the women to understand the subordinated groups in the society more as well as their clients.
The women attorneys and judges are also able to focus on the issues of the society more and made their decisions based on their impact on the lives of the entire society and in the best interest of their clients. The presence of women judges and attorney in the legal professions has led to the increase in the fight against unequal treatment in the world. The women judges have time and again presided over cases of discrimination and the attorneys represented subordinate groups in the society and other victims in the society that have led to justice being served.
The essence of male dominance in most of the professions and the society in general has been reduced through the impact and presence of the women in the legal profession (Anleu , pp 6). The future for the women attorneys and judges seems bright. There have been concerns that have been raised about the presence of women in the courts and judicial systems in most countries not being adequate. The need for more women in the judicial and legal system has been encouraged by the approach that the women use in the legal system.
They have been known to take a lead in addressing social values and the sensitive issues in the society that are affecting the people. Their presence in the legal system has led to more understanding of the constitutional laws and other personal liberties in the legal system (IANS , para 4). The number of women in the legal system has been on the rise since the first woman graduated in law in 1868. Women have been joining the profession for several reasons but the major reason has to improve the society as a whole.
These attorneys and judges have succeeded in attaining that and they have changed the profession that was initially the preserve of men. Their presence has been so significant in such a way that more women attorneys and judges are in demand. The future of these women seems bright and they will continue to impact the society in greater ways. Works Cited Anleu, Roach Sharyn. Women in the legal profession : theory and research. n. d. 28 July 2010 <http://www. aic. gov. au/publications/previous%20series/proceedings/1-27/~/media/publications/proceedings/16/anleu.
ashx>. Epstein, Cynthia Fuchs. Women in law. Illinois : University of Illinois Press, 1993 . IANS. Women judges should increase: Balakrishnan. 13 March 2010. 28 July 2010 <http://blog. taragana. com/law/2010/03/13/women-judges-should-increase-balakrishnan-20774/>. University of Michigan. Rebels in Law. n. d. 28 July 2010 <http://www. press. umich. edu/titleDetailDesc. do? id=15722>. Women’s International Center. Women’s History in America. n. d. 28 July 2010 <http://www. wic. org/misc/history. htm>.