Friday, November 21, 2008

Washington's First Women Lawyers and Judges

Her Day in Court: Women and Justice in Washington State (KF372 .H47 1988) is a short (28 min.) documentary about Washington's first women lawyers and judges. It was made in 1988 by the Northwest Women's Law Center's Women Judges History Project, to mark the state's centennial in 1989.

In it, you'll see interviews with:
  • Lady Willie Forbus (1892-1993), who ran for superior court judge unsuccessfully in 1934 and 1936 but won a seat in the state senate. See Lady Willie Forbus, Latte Republic, July 2, 2008; Three Lady Lawyer Legislators Who Showed Us the Way, Wash. St. B. News, Oct. 2007; Lady Forbus Won't Lay Down the Law, Seattle P-I, Jan. 12, 1986).

  • Betty Taylor Howard (1911-1995), who in 1956 was the first woman appointed judge pro tem in superior court and served in Seattle District Court from 1973 to 1986. See Judge Betty Howard, `Warmth And Humanity' In Justice System, Seattle Times, Dec. 30, 1995.

  • Bernice Jonson (UW Law '36) who raised six children while practicing and earning the nickname "barracuda." See Bernice Jonson, tough divorce lawyer, dies at 90, Seattle Times, March 8, 2005.

  • Filis Otto (1924-2006)(UW Law '44?), a justice of the peace in Pierce County for 28 years

  • Emma Dulik, then the chief judge for the Makah tribe

  • Norma Smith Huggins, the first black woman judge in the state (Seattle Municipal Court in 1983, King County Superior Court in 1988)

  • Jo Anne Alumbaugh (1941?-2003), the first woman to practice in Kittitas County and the first woman judge in Eastern Washington. See CWU Remembers Jo Anne Alumbaugh, June 3, 2003.
An newspaper article about the video when it first came out is Women Top the Scales of Justice, Seattle P-I, March 11, 1988, at F1.

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