Since the beginning of the American justice system, our country’s legal theater has been dominated by men. This dominance has led to the men-first culture that can found in many U.S. courtrooms, but that mentality is changing. Women are stepping into skilled roles that were previously the domain of men, and they are creating a legacy for other women to become legal professionals.
The Legacy of Female Trial Attorneys and the Future of the Law
It was 1982 when Mary E. Alexander passed the California bar and began practicing law. She was surrounded by men in her chosen profession and found herself being held to different standards than her colleagues. Despite these obstacles, she worked hard, focused on the facts of her cases and fought to build a strong practice based on the law. That work paid off.
A woman riding a bicycle in Yosemite National Park suffered a terrible accident. She crashed while riding down a hill, resulting in an injury that paralyzed her from the neck down. Afterward, she took the park and other responsible parties to court, and Alexander was co-counsel on her case. The lawsuit ended in a $13.3 million verdict and members of the legal industry started seeing Alexander as a skilled trial attorney.
In the thirty years since, Alexander has continued to fight hard for her clients and has worked toward expanding opportunities for women in law. Taking leadership roles in organizations such as Consumer Attorneys of California and the American Association for Justice (AAJ) has helped Alexander pave the way for future women to become leaders. Her law firm also provides an all-female legal team for consumers who need that option.
To learn more about how Mary Alexander fought to expand opportunities for women in the legal industry, check out her article in The Recorder. You can also learn more about Mary Alexander & Associates by following our blog, Twitter and Facebook.