National Association of Women Judges (U.S.)

Variant names

Hide Profile

Founded in 1979, the National Association of Women Judges "seeks to promote the administration of justice; to discuss and formulate solutions to legal, educational, social, and ethical problems encountered by women judges; to increase the number of women judges so that the judiciary more appropriately reflects the role of women in a democratic society." It also initiates studies of gender bias in the courts.

From the description of [Videotape collection] [videorecording]. 1979-1993. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122521585

Founded in 1979, the National Association of Women Judges "seeks to promote the administration of justice; to discuss and formulate solutions to legal, educational, social and ethical problems encountered by women judges; to increase the number of women judges so that the judiciary more appropriately reflects the role of women in a democratic society."

Other goals have included the appointment of a woman to the Supreme Court, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the elimination of gender bias in the courts, which the NAWJ addressed in 1980 by forming the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts in cooperation with the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1980 the Foundation for Women Judges was established as the education (tax-exempt) counterpart to the NAWJ; its name was changed to the Women Judges Fund for Justice in 1986 and in 1995 the Fund was folded into the NAWJ.

From the description of Records, 1966-1997 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122408020

Founded in 1979, the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) "seeks to promote the administration of justice; to discuss and formulate solutions to legal, educational, social and ethical problems encountered by women judges; to increase the number of women judges so that the judiciary more appropriately reflects the role of women in a democratic society." Other goals have included the appointment of a woman to the Supreme Court, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the elimination of gender bias in the courts, which the NAWJ addressed in 1980 by forming the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts in cooperation with the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1980 the Foundation for Women Judges was established as the education (tax-exempt) counterpart to the NAWJ; its name was changed to the Women Judges Fund for Justice in 1986 and in 1995 the Fund was folded into the NAWJ.

Mattie Belle Edwards Davis (1910-2003), was a founding and active member of the NAWJ. She practiced law in Florida from 1939 until 1959, when she was appointed a judge in the metropolitan court of Dade County, the only woman on a court of thirteen judges. One of the few senior women judges in 1979, Judge Davis presided over one session of the business meeting at the 1979 NAWJ founding conference in Los Angeles. After her retirement in 1981, she served as chair of the Retired Judges Committee of the NAWJ, and became a NAWJ life member.

From the description of Additional records, 1966-1997 (inclusive), 1979-1997 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 539584988

The National Association of Women Judges was founded in 1979 in Los Angeles, largely through the efforts of a group of California judges led by Joan Dempsey Klein and Vaino Spencer. An organizational drive in 1978-1979 led to a Founders' Conference in October 1979. The purposes of the NAWJ are:

to promote the administration of justice; to discuss legal, educational, social, and ethical problems mutually encountered by women judges and to formulate solutions; to increase the number of women judges so that the judiciary more appropriately reflects the role of women in a democratic society; and to address other important issues particularly affecting women judges.

In 1980 the American Judicature Society and the NAWJ launched a joint project to compile an accurate list of all women judges in the United States. New York had the largest contingent after California, and several New York judges, notably Sybil Hart Kooper, were extremely active in early NAWJ organizational work. By 1985 the association had 580 members, which its leaders believed represented about half of all law-trained women judges in the country.

The NAWJ contracted with the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia, for secretariat services. The NAWJ office has since moved to Washington, D.C., but the NCSC continues to take care of membership work for the association.

Early goals of the association included the appointment of a woman to the Supreme Court (Sandra Day O'Connor was a founding member), passage of the ERA, establishment of liaisons with the American Bar Association (ABA; NAWJ achieved affiliate status in 1983) and with state and local women's bar associations, and encouragement of parental and educational leave policies for judges. In 1980 the NAWJ, in cooperation with the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund, established the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP). After attending an early NJEP presentation, Marilyn Loftus (who later served as NAWJ president) helped create and subsequently chaired the New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force on Women in the Courts. Similar task forces, most with the term "gender bias" in their titles, were soon set up in many other states, and the NAWJ published a manual on how to do so. These studies covered all aspects of women in court systems: court employees' working conditions; women as litigators, judges, administrators; and women as parties in court actions. By 1996, 37 states and two federal circuits had established gender bias task forces, and many states followed these with racial and ethnic bias studies. In 1996, New York released a ten-year evaluation of its continuing work on women in the courts.

The NAWJ started early to lobby against the accepted practice of judges belonging to discriminatory private clubs. Due in large part to efforts by NAWJ District 14 members, the California Judges Association changed its canon of judicial ethics in 1986 to label membership in clubs practicing "invidious" discrimination to be "inappropriate" for anyone holding a judicial appointment. Negotiations with the ABA to promote a similar resolution were also ultimately successful.

Judicial screening practices were another immediate target of the NAWJ. Joan Dempsey Klein, founding president, wrote the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary in November 1979 to state the concern of the NAWJ that the ABA screening process "works to the detriment of women and minority nominees." The association also urged states, particularly Vermont, without women judges to appoint some.

In 1980 a non-profit corporation, the Foundation for Women Judges, was established as the "education" (tax-exempt) counterpart to the NAWJ. The name was changed to the Women Judges Fund for Justice in 1986. In 1995, the foundation was folded into the NAWJ.

In April 1982 the NAWJ invited forty women judges from across the country to a "Symposium on Women in the Judiciary" at the Wingspread Center near Racine, Wisconsin. This was an occasion for networking, brainstorming, reflection, and communication among women judges and created "a sense of direction" for later activities. Proceedings of the symposium were published in 1983.

By 1988 the association had 24 active committees. In 1989, with 1,000 members, the NAWJ celebrated its tenth anniversary by inviting women judges from around the world to attend its annual meeting; 54 came, from 30 countries. This gathering set in motion the founding of the International Association of Women Judges, which came into being in October 1992.

The NAWJ is bi-partisan yet political and feminist. It is recognizably a mainstream legal group. It continues to provide a social and professional network for women judges, and to expand its committee work to include projects on women in prison, domestic violence, exchange with foreign women judges, and many other topics.

From the guide to the Records, (inclusive), (bulk), 1979-1997, 1979-1989, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Judge Mattie Belle Davis Papers, 1936-1998 Special Collections & Archives, FIU Libraries
referencedIn Sedgwick, Susanne C. 1931-1988. Susanne C. Sedgwick papers, 1970-1988. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf National Association of Women Judges (U.S.). Records, 1966-1997 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf National Association of Women Judges (U.S.). [Videotape collection] [videorecording]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records, (inclusive), (bulk), 1979-1997, 1979-1989 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf National Association of Women Judges (U.S.). Additional records, 1966-1997 (inclusive), 1979-1997 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Records, (inclusive), (bulk), 1979-1997, 1979-1989 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers of Beatrice Sobel Burstein, (inclusive), (bulk), 1928-2001, 1954-1991 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Bar Association. corporateBody
associatedWith American Judicature Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Babcock, Barbara Allen person
associatedWith Babcock, Barbara Allen. person
associatedWith Barrett, Jane person
associatedWith Barrett, Jane. person
correspondedWith Beatrice Sobel Burstein, 1915-2001 person
associatedWith Berkson, Larry C. person
associatedWith Berkson, Larry C. person
associatedWith Bird, Rose Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Bloom, Barbara, 1950- person
associatedWith Brennan, William J. 1906-1997. person
associatedWith Brown, Jerry, 1938- person
associatedWith Burstein, Florence person
associatedWith Burstein, Florence. person
associatedWith Cook, Beverly B. person
associatedWith Cuomo, Mario. person
associatedWith Daughtrey, Martha Craig. person
associatedWith Davis, Mattie Belle. person
associatedWith Deutscher Juristinnenbund-1987, 1988 corporateBody
associatedWith Ellerin, Betty Weinberg. person
associatedWith Ferraro, Geraldine. person
associatedWith Foundation for Women Judges (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Garibaldi, Marie person
associatedWith Garibaldi, Marie. person
associatedWith Genovsky, Leonard person
associatedWith Genovsky, Leonard. person
associatedWith Ginsburg, Ruth Bader. person
associatedWith Green, Joyce Hens. person
associatedWith Howard, A. E. Dick. person
associatedWith Hunt, Karen. person
associatedWith International Association of Women Judges. corporateBody
associatedWith Janofsky, Leonard. person
associatedWith Johnson, Barbara person
associatedWith Johnson, Barbara. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Cornelia G. person
associatedWith Kessler, Gladys. person
associatedWith Klein, Joan Dempsey person
associatedWith Klein, Joan Dempsey. person
associatedWith Kooper, Sybil Hart, 1925-1991. person
associatedWith McKenna, Margaret person
associatedWith McKenna, Margaret. person
associatedWith Miami Dade Women's Archive corporateBody
associatedWith Morris, Margaret person
associatedWith Morris, Margaret. person
associatedWith National Association of Women Judges (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Center for State Courts. corporateBody
associatedWith National Coalition of Free Men corporateBody
associatedWith National Coalition of Free Men. corporateBody
associatedWith National Conference of Women's Bar Associations. corporateBody
associatedWith National Judicial College (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts. corporateBody
associatedWith National Judicial Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts. corporateBody
associatedWith National Women's Political Caucus (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Ness, Susan person
associatedWith Ness, Susan. person
associatedWith New Jersey. Supreme Court. Task Force on Women in the Courts. corporateBody
associatedWith NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund corporateBody
associatedWith NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Connor, Sandra Day, 1930- person
associatedWith Rand, Elena. person
associatedWith Roberts, Marilyn McCoy. person
associatedWith Schafran, Lynn Hecht person
associatedWith Schafran, Lynn Hecht. person
associatedWith Schneider, Elizabeth person
associatedWith Schneider, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Schroeder, Pat person
associatedWith Schroeder, Pat. person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Susanne C. 1931-1988. person
associatedWith Spencer, Vaino person
associatedWith Spencer, Vaino. person
associatedWith Sullivan, Marilyn M. person
associatedWith Sullivan, Marilyn M. person
associatedWith Wahl, Rosalie person
associatedWith Wahl, Rosalie. person
associatedWith Wald, Patricia M. person
associatedWith Wald, Patricia M. person
associatedWith Whitehead, Reah M. person
associatedWith Whitehead, Reah M. person
associatedWith Wikler, Norma J. person
associatedWith Wikler, Norma J. person
associatedWith Wilson, Bertha, 1923- person
associatedWith Wingspread Symposium for Women Judges (1982 : Racine, Wis.) corporateBody
associatedWith Women Judges Fund for Justice. corporateBody
associatedWith Younger, Judith person
associatedWith Younger, Judith. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Florida
Washington (State)
New York (State)
United States
Vermont
Florida
Washington (State)
New Jersey. Supreme Court. Task Force on Women in the Courts
United States
Subject
Women lawyers
Authors
Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation
Women judges--Vermont
Judges
Parental leave--United States
Women judges--New York State
Women lawyers--United States
Sex discrimination in justice administration--United States
Women judges--Washington State
Sex discrimination in justice administration
Child support--Law and legislation
Courts--officials and employees
Examiners (Administrative procedure)
Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation--United States
African American judges
Lawyers--United States
Women judges
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Women lawyers--Washington (State)
Sex discrimination against women
Afro--American judges--United States
Sex discrimination in criminal justice administration
Educational leave
Pay equity
Courts--United States
Judges--United States
subject
Sex discrimination--Law and legislation
Lawyers
Educational leave--United States
Women judges--United States
Courts
Sex discrmination--Law and legislation
Parental leave
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
Sex discrimination against women--United States
Occupation
Activity
Judges
Lawyer

Corporate Body

Active 1966

Active 1997

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6q86qrx

Ark ID: w6q86qrx

SNAC ID: 37031062