As the story goes, Lady Justice, also known as Lady Liberty, was a Roman goddess who was recognized by the scales she held in one hand to balance the concepts of reason and justice, and a sword in the other hand to symbolize the swift power of justice. In addition, she is sometimes depicted wearing a blindfold to represent the idea that justice should be rendered without regard for a person’s wealth, status, or power.
If you have ever visited Charlestown, you have probably seen the Lady Justice sculpture that serves as a memorial to Massachusetts’ first courts established in 1630. However, women did not start working in the legal profession until 1869 and have played an essential role in the legal system ever since. They have helped create a place for others to grow and contribute in an environment that men have traditionally dominated.
History is filled with trailblazing female attorneys who shaped American history. For example, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Harvard Law School graduate, became the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, following in Sandra Day O’Connor’s footsteps. She has blazed the way for the female attorneys and judges of today. Another Harvard Law School graduate, Janet Reno became the first female Attorney General of the United States in 1993. And let us not forget Margaret Marshall, one of the most famous female lawyers from Massachusetts. Born in South Africa, Marshall completed her legal education at Yale Law School. She was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1999 and was the first female to serve in that capacity. She did so until 2010.