Records of the National Association of Women Judges, 1979-1997 (inclusive), 1979-1989 (bulk)
Records of the National Association of Women Judges, an organization that was founded in 1979 to address legal, educational, social, and ethical issues facing women judges and to increase the number of women judges in the judiciary.
- Majority of material found within 1979-1989
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Access is unrestricted, except for a few items which have been restricted or closed for reasons of privacy. Photocopies of these items with identifying information expunged are available for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. The National Association of Women Judges retains its copyright in its own records; however, it authorizes the director of the Schlesinger Library to give permission to publish from these records short quotations, not exceeding 250 words in any one publication, so long as credit is given to National Association of Women Judges as the source of such quotation or quotations.
Copyright for audiovisual material varies; see individual tapes.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent13.8 linear feet ((33 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 28 videotapes, 5 audiotapes, 32 folders of photographs, 1 banner, 2 archived web sites, electronic records)
The records of the National Association of Women Judges document the organization's first ten years, 1979-1989, with a few later items. Reflecting the day-to-day activities of a women's professional organization, they include board and annual meeting minutes, legal and financial records, newsletters, membership directories, short histories, reports, correspondence between and among staff and officers and among members, memoranda, speeches, audio- and videotapes, photographs, and information on women judges in general. Correspondence of the office staff and between it and the presidents predominates.
Series I, Founding (#1-32at), documents the planning of the founding conference (Los Angeles, October 1979) and includes videotapes of some conference events, several historical overviews of the organization's early years, and the transcripts of oral history interviews with Massachusetts judge Marilyn Sullivan and third National Association of Women Judges president Gladys Kessler. The roster of women judges published in cooperation with the American Judicature Society in 1980 is in #765.
Series II, Administration (#33-240) includes articles of incorporation, bylaws, board lists, memos and correspondence; membership records; material from the National Center for State Courts, which first housed the National Association of Women Judges office; records of mid-year board meetings; and records from the fourteen districts of the National Association of Women Judges. Records of annual conferences are in Series IIIA. See also Series IV.
Series III, Program (#241-550) is divided into two subseries:
IIIA. Annual conferences (#241-475vt). Financial records, minutes, agendas, lists of attendees, program brochures, press releases, etc. document planning and program of these events. The amount and type of material varies considerably from one conference to the next. Program brochures are found under registration or program. There are photographs from most conferences, audio- or videotapes of some conference panels, and material for a conference planning manual (#408-412).
See Series I for the founding conference, 1979.
IIIB, Other programs (#476-550), documents other areas of ongoing activity by the National Association of Women Judges: Administrative Law Judges (negotiations with the United States Office of Personnel Management over qualifications and classification of Administrative Law Judges and an early National Association of Women Judges task force on Administrative Law Judges); American Bar Association (correspondence about standards for judicial nominations); child support enforcement; discriminatory clubs; judicial leave policies (educational and parental); and judicial selection/qualification. There is material here and in Series V on the establishment of Gender Bias in the Courts task forces. This sub-series also includes material from conferences to which National Association of Women Judges sent representatives.
Series IV, Presidents' papers (#551-618), includes correspondence, notes, lists, speeches, background information, and articles. The administrations of Gladys Kessler and Sybil Kooper are amply documented. Kessler papers include her collection of articles about women judges and the National Association of Women Judges (a list is in #567), and the Kooper papers include one example each of state and federal judicial applications. For Sybil Kooper, see also #277-318, and #386. Some material exists here and in Series II for the presidencies of Joan Dempsey Klein, Clarice Jobes, Martha Craig Daughtrey, and Christine Durham, but there are few or no papers for presidents Vaino Spencer, Marilyn Loftus, Bernice Donald, Judith McConnell, and Sophia Hall. A list of National Association of Women Judges presidents is in #23. Presidential speeches at National Association of Women Judges conferences are in Series IIIA. See also #59-64.
Series V, Foundation for Women Judges (#619-714), contains memos, correspondence, financial records, and records from the 1984 recruitment of the executive director. Applications for the post have been returned to the National Association of Women Judges. Responses to two member surveys (1984) are included, as are documents relating to a proposed merger with the foundation of the National Council of Women's Bar Associations.
Also present is material on the National Judicial Education Program on gender bias, the National Judicial College, and early gender bias task forces. Correspondence and memos by Norma Wikler and Lynn Hecht Schafran document the early conceptualization of what evolved into state by state gender bias task forces. (See also Series IIIB and Series VI.)
Series VI, Wingspread Conference (#715-748), contains planning correspondence and memos, invitations, program and background material, papers from the conference, financial records, records about the subsequent publication of the conference proceedings (1983), the published proceedings (#747), and a Bibliography of Issues Relating to Women in the Judiciary (#733).
Series VII, Publications and publicity (#749-768, E.1), includes volumes 1-13 of National Association of Women Judges News and Announcements and its successor, Counterbalance,(name changed in 1988); press releases; and the 1980 Roster of Women Judges co-produced by National Association of Women Judges and the American Judicature Society (#765). Membership directories and pamphlets are in #180-184,and #188-190. Most press releases pertain to annual conferences and so are in series III. Published conference proceedings are in #405 and #747; see also #317, #338, #743. (The proceedings of National Association of Women Judges's 1983 conference were also published: Golden Gate University Law Review 14:3 [Fall 1984], and those of the 1989 conference in Women's Rights Law Reporter 12:4 [Winter 1991].) Publications of the Foundation for Women Judges are in #698-699. National Association of Women Judges's web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection service (WAX); searchable archived versions of the web site will be available through this finding aid in 2010.
A copy of Linda C. Morrison's master's thesis is in #769.
Newspaper clippings have been photocopied and the originals discarded. Clippings not directly related to National Association of Women Judges or women judges, other reference materials, and brief notes with little significance have been discarded. Material from prospective meeting coordinators and hotels, and all unsuccessful applications for Foundation for Women Judges executive director have been discarded.
Most folder titles are those of National Association of Women Judges. Information added by the processor appears in square brackets .
Audio- and videotapes are listed in the inventory; quotation marks indicate titles transcribed from tape labels by the processor. The videotapes consist mostly of footage of National Association of Women Judges conferences and interviews with judges.
Quotation marks indicate titles transcribed from tape labels by the processor.
Tapes are listed in chronological order by the date on which the material was created.
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 National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges contracted with the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia, for secretariat services. The National Association of Women Judges office has since moved to Washington, D.C., but the National Center for State Courts 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 (American Bar Association; National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges, 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 National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges started early to lobby against the accepted practice of judges belonging to discriminatory private clubs. Due in large part to efforts by National Association of Women Judges 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 American Bar Association to promote a similar resolution were also ultimately successful.
Judicial screening practices were another immediate target of the National Association of Women Judges. Joan Dempsey Klein, founding president, wrote the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary in November 1979 to state the concern of the National Association of Women Judges that the American Bar Association 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 National Association of Women Judges. The name was changed to the Women Judges Fund for Justice in 1986. In 1995, the foundation was folded into the National Association of Women Judges.
In April 1982 the National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges 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 National Association of Women Judges 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.
The collection is arranged in seven series:
- I. Founding
- II. Administration
- III. Program
- IV. Presidents' papers
- V. Foundation for Women Judges
- VI. Wingspread conference
- VII. Publications and publicity
Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 92-M193, 93-M187, 94-M1, 94-M97, 96-M18, 97-M132, 99-M79
The records of the National Association of Women Judges were given to the Schlesinger Library by the National Association of Women Judges in October 1992, October and December 1993, and July 1994. Videotapes were given by the National Association of Women Judges in November 1992 and January 1994. Presidents' papers were donated by Gladys Kessler in July 1994, and addenda by Linda Morrison in February 1996, October 1997, and June 1999.
Donors: National Association of Women Judges
Accession numbers: 92-M193, 93-M187, 94-M1, 94-M97
Processed by: Linda C. Morrison
The following items have been removed from the collection:
- Maryland Bar Journal, XIX:5, "Women in the Law" (June 1986). Placed in Schlesinger Library vertical files, 1996.
- Virginia Bar News, 34:10, "Women in the Law" (April 1986). Placed in Schlesinger Library vertical files, 1996.
- Wisconsin Bar Bulletin, 56:6, "Women in Wisconsin Law" (June 1986). Placed in Schlesinger Library vertical files, 1996.
- Applications for foundation executive director from unsuccessful applicants. Discarded in 1997.
- Gifts from foreign judges at 1989 annual conference. Discarded or returned to National Association of Women Judgesin 1997.
- Second cassette of audiotape of Morning Edition, 10/13/1993. Discarded in 1997.
- Audiotapes of Wingspread symposium. Discarded in 1997.
- Box 1: 1-11, 21-24, 29, 33-44
- Box 2: 45-65
- Box 3: 66-76
- Box 4: 77-88
- Box 5: 89-110
- Box 6: 111-114, 116-134
- Box 7: 135-161
- Box 8: 162-185
- Box 9: 186-208
- Box 10: 209-226
- Box 11: 227-236, 236-239
- Box 12: 240-261
- Box 13: 263-290
- Box 14: 291-307
- Box 15: 323-334, 337-350
- Box 16: 351-355, 358-361, 363-366, 368-379
- Box 17: 380-386, 388-393, 403-405, 408
- Box 18: 409-423
- Box 19: 424-430, 432-438, 439-443, 445-446
- Box 20: 447-450, 452-453, 464, 476-485
- Box 21: 486-505
- Box 22: 506-510, 512-521
- Box 23: 522-538
- Box 24: 539-548, 550-557, 559
- Box 25: 560-577
- Box 26: 578-581, 583-598
- Box 27: 599-631
- Box 28: 632-654
- Box 29: 655-678
- Box 30: 679-683, 685-701
- Box 31: 702-724
- Box 32: 725-737, 741-746
- Box 33: 747-755, 757-763, 765-769
Processed: February 1999; April 1996
By: Linda C. Morrison; Katherine Herrlich (videotapes)
- African American judges
- American Bar Association
- Child support--Law and legislation
- Courts--United States
- Courts--United States--Officials and employees
- Educational leave--United States
- Electronic records
- Examiners (Administrative procedure)
- Judges--United States
- Lawyers--United States
- Parental leave--United States
- Pay equity--United States
- Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation--United States
- Sex discrimination against women--United States
- Sex discrimination in justice administration--United States
- Sex discrimination--Law and legislation
- Web archives
- Women judges--New York (State)
- Women judges--United States
- Women judges--Vermont
- Women judges--Washington (State)
- Women lawyers--United States
- Women lawyers--Washington (State)
- Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
- National Association of Women Judges (U.S.). Records of the National Association of Women Judges, 1979-1997 (inclusive), 1979-1989 (bulk): A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
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