Papers of Lynn Hecht Schafran, 1957-2013
Awards, correspondence, calendars, educational material, speeches, writings, photographs, memorabilia, audiovisual material, etc., of Lynn Hecht Schafran, attorney, women's rights activist, and judicial educator.
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. The collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. The donor retains copyright in the collection during her lifetime. Upon her death, copyright is transferred to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. Documents from the collection may not be digitized until January 1, 2060.
Extent24.81 linear feet ((56 file boxes, 1 card file box, 1 folio box) plus 3 folio+ folders, 12 photograph folders, 1 videotape, 1 audiotape, electronic records)
The papers of Lynn Hecht Schafran contain extensive clippings, correspondence, press releases, reports, amicus curiae legal briefs, legislative amendments, city ordinances, transcripts of public hearings, and Schafran's testimony that document her efforts to overturn the discriminatory policies and practices of private clubs. Also documented is her work as a judicial educator for Legal Momentum (formerly the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund). Material includes annual reports, clippings, correspondence, and speeches. Program material includes funding proposals, teaching papers, and reports. Training programs and manuals received in binders were disassembled and foldered. Also included are materials for workshops organized for the National Association of Women Judges, the Office of Violence Against Women, Department of Justice, and judicial colleges and conferences. Schafran's notes, which provide historical context, personal observations and insights, are also included. Schafran's strong support for women's rights are documented in clippings, flyers, print material, photographs, and memorabilia related to her work on the Equal Rights Amendment and her participation in national and international women's conferences. Committee work for the New York City Commission on the Status of Women, the American Bar Association, and other bar associations is represented by memorandum, minutes, legislation, local laws and ordinances, and reports. There is a comparatively small amount of biographical and personal material in the collection, including awards and honors for achievements in public interest law and judicial education. A series of "chron files," "personal files," and annotated desk calendars (which were disassembled) are also included. There is some overlap in the content of the "chron" and "personal files." Each contain clippings, correspondence to family and friends and professional colleagues, and letters to columnists and editors of various newspapers that highlight her interest in pro-choice issues (#10.10), gender bias (#11.1, 11.4), and private club litigation (#8.9). Duplicates of these letters and clippings are also included in the private litigation files (see Series II) and the professional activities files (see Series III). Newsletters featuring Schafran's writings have been retained in the collection, while others were transferred to the Schlesinger Library Published Materials Division. Most of the papers were received with folder headings, which the archivist modified to avoid duplication and to consolidate related material. Folder headings for the "chron" and "personal" files were provided by the donor and appear in quotation marks. The archivist provided the arrangement for all series and interfiled loose material. Additional material received as electronic files will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in the appropriate series. The Legal Momentum/National Judicial Education Program web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection (WAX).
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1957-2010 (#1.1-11.7, E.1), includes awards and honors from colleges, foundations, and organizations, including Smith College, Columbia University Law School, Quinnipac College School of Law, the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, and the American Law Institute-American Bar Association. Related clippings, correspondence, greeting cards, nomination letters, biographical material, and Schafran's speeches are also included. Highlights in this series include a transcript of Schafran's interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, organized by the Veteran Feminists of America (#2.9), clippings; yearbooks; and an undergraduate thesis. Also included are annotated desk calendars (1979-1998), which provide a record of her personal and professional appointments with comments; and post-graduate bulletins citing her role as an art instructor at Smith College and subsequent position as an associate curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art. This series also contains campaign material, consisting of correspondence, flyers, and other print material related to the elections of Elizabeth Holtzman (#7.5), Edward I. Koch (#8.6), William J. Clinton (#11.3) and others. Campaign memorabilia for Hillary Clinton is filed with memorabilia (see Series V). "Chron files" (1978-1988) and "personal files" (1979-1998), include clippings, greeting cards, invitations, and letters to family, friends, and colleagues such as Elizabeth Holtzman (#7.5), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (#7.5) and Schafran's testimony at the confirmation of Judge Sandra Day O'Connor (#8.1). Some material found in the "chron" and "personal files" are also included in private litigation (See Series II) and professional activities files (See Series III). The series is arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Most folder titles were created by the processor. Folder headings appearing in quotes are those of the donor.
Series II, LEGAL MOMENTUM AND THE NATIONAL JUDICIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM, 1970-2013 (#11.8-31.11), documents Schafran's extensive litigation against the discriminatory policies and practices of private clubs, including amici curiae legal briefs; clippings; state and federal policies; transcripts of public hearings; and the testimony of Schafran and others before judicial panels, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, New York City Council, the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal, and other state and federal agencies. Also includes legislative amendments (some of which Schafran drafted with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Jack Greenberg, former Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund); press releases; reports; and resolutions of allied organizations, which include the American Jewish Congress, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Association of Black Women Attorneys of New York, the Harlem Lawyers Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the New York City Commission on the Status of Women. This series also documents Schafran's efforts to eliminate gender bias in the courts through her work for the National Judicial Education Program, a project of Legal Momentum (formerly National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund). Included are annual reports; brochures, fact sheets and flyers; gender bias case citations, reports, and task force findings; teaching papers on rape law; and training program manuals. Named correspondence files include letters from Norma J. Wikler, founding director of the National Judicial Education Program (1979-1981), which highlight evolving aspects of the program and their working relationship. Model educational curricula developed by Schafran includes Child Sexual Abuse Model Curriculum, Understanding Sexual Violence: The Judicial Response to Stranger and Nonstranger Rape and Sexual Assault, Presiding in Adult Sexual Assault Cases: A Distance Learning Curriculum, and Intimate Partner Sexual Assault, Distance Learning Curriculum. State Justice Institute funding proposals; planning notes; and program evaluations are also included. Workshop material related to gender bias and gender fairness workshops and seminars are included in the files of the National Association of Women Judges, judicial colleges, and various conferences. There are also anti-violence curricula developed by Schafran in collaboration with the American Prosecutors Research Institute, the Office of Violence against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, and other organizations, including Violence Against Women: The Hidden Federal Jurisdiction, and A Crime Like No Other: Educating Judges about Sexual Assault. The series is arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.
Series III, OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES, 1973-2013 (#31.12-54.7), includes brochures, campaign flyers, clippings, correspondence, print material, photographs, and memorabilia related to Schafran's activism with the National Organization for Women, the National Women's Conference Committee, and other women's organizations committed to the Equal Rights Amendment. Also included are annual reports; brochures and fact sheets; clippings and correspondence; minutes and reports; speeches; transcripts from public hearings; and testimony representing Schafran's professional affiliations, memberships, and committee work on behalf of the American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union Women's Rights Project, the American Jewish Committee, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Conference files include correspondence, planning notes, speeches, flyers, invitations, and other print material associated with annual meetings of the American Bar Association, the United Nations World Conferences on Women; scholarly papers from the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture Series; and photographs related to the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award luncheon. This series also includes correspondence, research, reports, surveys, and testimony documenting Schafran's role as director of the Federation of Women Lawyers' Judicial Screening Panel, responsible for vetting the nominating process for Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Robert H. Bork and others. Annual reports, correspondence, planning notes, clippings, city laws and ordinances, and legislative reports that document her work for the New York City Commission on the Status of Women are also included. The series is arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.
Series IV, PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLICITY, 1967-2012 (#54.8-56.6), contains articles by and about Schafran, including Schafran's art reviews published in Art News and articles on topics associated with her professional activities, including Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination to the Supreme Court, the extension of the Equal Rights Amendment, private club litigation, gender bias in the courts, and sexual harassment in the legal profession. An active member of the National Association of Women Judges, Schafran also served as an editor and published columns and articles in the Association's newsletter Counterbalance. Newsletter submissions for Perspectives, published by the American Bar Association are also included. Edited volumes containing Schafran's articles on the Reagan administration, careers of women within the legal profession, and the history of the National Judicial Education Program were transferred to the Schlesinger Library Published Materials Division. The series is arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.
Series V, PHOTOGRAPHS, OVERSIZED, MEMORABILIA, AUDIOVISUAL, 1957-2008 (#PD.1-PD.12, F+D.1-F+D.3, 57CB.1m, 58FB.1m, Vt.289.1, T-563.1), includes a group photograph of Schafran with other graduates of Smith College and photographs of Schafran receiving awards from Smith College, Columbia University School of Law, Quinnipac School of Law, and the annual Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. There is also a group photograph of Norma J. Wikler (founding director of the National Judicial Education Program) with staff lawyers from the National Organization for Women; Schafran with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and Justice Sylvia Roberts (a founding board member of the National Judicial Education Program); and other colleagues in the legal profession. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. This series also includes oversized material, consisting of alumni newspapers describing Schafran's achievements; a program flyer associated with the Judy Chicago exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum; and the organizational newsletters in which Schafran was featured. Memorabilia consists of buttons and T-shirts associated with campaigns and rallies for the Equal Rights Amendment; anti-violence campaigns, women's health, Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, and the legal profession. Audiovisual material consists of a videotape featuring a discussion of rape law trends by Schafran and attorney Roy Black on Nightline, an ABC late night news program moderated by Ted Koppel. Black was the defense attorney who won an acquittal for William Kennedy Smith on the charge of rape. The series is arranged by format and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.
Lynn Hecht Schafran, Esq. is an attorney, a women's rights activist, and Director since 1981 of the National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) at Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), where she also serves as Senior Vice President.
Schafran was born in 1941 in New York City to Geraldine (Gery) Schaeffer Hecht, an interior designer and architectural consultant, and David K. Hecht, an attorney, civil engineer and children's camp owner. Schafran graduated magna cum laude from Smith College (BA, 1962) and received her MA in Art History from Columbia University (l964). After a career in museum work that included the Museum of Modern Art (1966-1970), teaching art history at Smith (l965-1966) and criticism for Art News (l967-1969) she attended Columbia University School of Law (JD, 1974). At Columbia she studied with then-professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg and helped draft briefs for the ACLU Women's Rights Project, founded and led by then-professor Ginsburg. Subsequent to graduation she was law clerk to Federal District Court Judge Edmund L. Palmieri in the Southern District of New York, for whom Justice Ginsburg clerked, and a litigator with the New York law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges (1975-1977).
Schafran next coordinated Women for Bella for Bella Abzug's unsuccessful New York City Mayoral campaign (1977), followed by similar work for Ed Koch's successful campaign, after which she served as New York City Representative to the Federal Regional Council for Region II, composed of the major federal grant making agencies. During this period Schafran began serving as Vice Chair of the New York City Commission on the Status of Women (l978-1982) and then as its Special Counsel (l982-1993). She was also active with the New York City Bar Association Committee on Sex and Law which she ultimately chaired (1978-1987).
In 1979 Schafran became founding director of the Federation of Women Lawyers' Judicial Screening Panel which evaluated federal judicial candidates' demonstrated commitment to equal justice under law before their nominations went to the Senate. Schafran was instrumental in having the Senate Judiciary Committee extend its requirement that nominees withdraw from discriminatory clubs to clubs that excluded women and testified at confirmation hearings, including Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's. (1979-1981). She drafted several amicus curie ("Friends of the Court") briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court that successfully challenged the exclusion of women from business-oriented clubs and organizations.
In 1981 Schafran became Director the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP) established by Legal Momentum/NOW LDEF to provide judicial education about the ways gender bias undermines fairness across the spectrum of criminal, civil, family and juvenile law. Schafran has designed and presented programs for numerous national, state and federal judicial colleges in the United States and Canada and created several model judicial education curricula, videos/DVDs and a web course with a particular focus on cases involving adult victims of sexual assault and the intersection of sexual assault and domestic violence. Schafran was advisor to the 45 state supreme court and seven federal circuit task forces on gender bias in the courts throughout the country for which NJEP was the catalyst and which produced widespread reforms (See Series II). She is widely published on the subject of gender bias in the courts and the legal profession.
Schafran was an original member of and then special advisor to the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession (1987-1994) and continues to serve as liaison from Legal Momentum. She has been a member of the planning committee for the Annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law at the New York City Bar Association since its inception in 1999. Schafran served for six years on the ABA Committee on Amicus Briefs and was a presidential appointee to the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) (1993-1996) further to extensive civic leader tours with the U.S. Air Force. After serving on the ABA Standing Committee on Armed Force Law (2013-2016) Schafran serves on the ABA Human Rights Advisory Council (2016- Present). Schafran is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American Law Institute.
In recognition of her work to eliminate gender bias in the courts Schafran received numerous awards and honors. These include the first Distinguished Service Award of the National Association of Women Judges (1990) and the Smith College Medal (1992). In 1995 she was the first woman to receive the Francis Rawle Award, given by the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education for outstanding achievement in post-admission legal education. Schafran received the ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award (1996), was honored by the Veteran Feminists of America (2007) and in 2014 was awarded the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence Sharon Corbett Award and the Visionary Award from Ending Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).
The collection is arranged in five series:
- Series I. Biographical and personal, 1957-2010 (#1.1-11.7, E.1)
- Series II. Legal Momentum and the National Judicial Education Program, 1970-2013 (#11.8-31.11)
- Series III. Other professional activities, 1973-2013 (#31.12-54.7)
- Series IV. Publications and publicity, 1967-2012 (#54.8-56.6)
- Series V. Photographs, oversized, memorabilia, and audiovisual, 1957-2008 (#PD.1-PD.12, F+D.1-F+D.3, 57CB.1m, 58FB.1m, Vt.289.1, T-563.1)
Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 2010-M228, 2014-M47, 2018-M220
The Papers of Lynn Hecht Schafran were given to the Schlesinger Library by Lynn Hecht Schafran between November 2010 and December 2018.
Donors: Lynn Hecht Schafran
Accession numbers: 2010-M228, 2014-M47
Processed by: Emilyn L. Brown
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library Book and Printed Materials Division (pending review by curator):
- Equal Rights Advocate
- Full Disclosure: Do You Really Want to Be a Lawyer?
- Keeping the Promise of Justice
- Mainstream, A Periodic Newsletter on Women's Concerns
- National Conference of Women's Bar Associations Newsletter
- News from the National Women's Conference Committee
- New York Women's Bar Association Newsletter
- Perspectives: A Newsletter For and About Women Lawyers
- Status Report, New York City Commission on the Status of Women
- The Women's Bar Association of the State of New York
- What Reagan Is Doing to Us
Processed: August 2017
By: Emilyn L Brown with assistance from Dan Bullman.
Updated: August 2022
By: Johanna Carll
- Electronic records
- Equal rights amendments--United States
- Feminists--United States
- International Women's Decade, 1976-1985
- Jewish women--United States
- Lawyers--United States
- Private clubs--Law and legislation
- Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation--United States
- Sex discrimination in justice administration--Law and legislation--United States
- Women lawyers--United States
- Women's rights--Congresses
- Women's rights--United States
- Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
- Women--Social conditions
- Women--Social networks
- Women--Violence against--United States
- Schafran, Lynn Hecht. Papers of Lynn Hecht Schafran, 1957-2013: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
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