Celebrating Our History
At the turn of the 20th century, women lawyers were virtually unknown in Connecticut. By contrast, at the onset of the 21st century, women comprised 49% of the entering law school classes in the United States. In their time at the bar, women have become leaders in the profession at a pace out of proportion to their brief history and numbers.
In 1999, the Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellows initiated the Oral History of Connecticut Women in the Legal Profession Project. The Fellows are creating a permanent historical photographic, audio and, video-taped record of the Connecticut legal profession's most memorable moments as women entered the field of law. Ann Rubin of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP and the Hon. A. Susan Peck are co-chairing the History of Connecticut Women in the Legal Profession project. The Carmody firm played a leadership role and donated $20,000 to support the project. If you are interested in helping on this project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 13, 2012, the Connecticut Bar Foundation James W Cooper Fellows presented a remarkable symposium entitled “Our History, Our Future: Celebrating Attorneys of Color in Connecticut.” The symposium was co-sponsored by the four associations for attorneys of color (George W. Crawford Black Bar Association, Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut).
The first legal aid office in Connecticut began in Hartford in 1914, and the first of the "modern" legal services programs, the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, was incorporated in 1964. Those who served in Hartford in 1914 are no longer with us but many of those involved in New Haven and other communities that started legal aid programs soon thereafter have stories to tell. The purpose of the Legal Aid Oral History Project is to record those stories. To date, video interviews of 15 of Connecticut's legal aid "pioneers" have been recorded.