Our interactive timeline features UW Law women who have made history for their outstanding contributions to Wisconsin’s legal community and beyond.
The Wisconsin Marital Property Act passed state legislature, giving Wisconsin status as the first common-law property state making “a serious attempt to introduce the concept of full sharing of the economic fruits of marriage.” Professor June Weisberger played a major role in authoring and advocating for the bill.
Susan Shannon Engeleiter ’81 became the first woman appointed administrator of the Small Business Association (by President George H.W. Bush). Before attending law school, she held the distinction—at 22 years of age—of being the youngest state legislator in the nation. She was elected to the state assembly in 1974.
As director of the National Partnership for Women and Families, Judith Lichtman ’65 played a crucial role in the drafting and passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton. She reported: “President Clinton made it the first bill he signed into law, when he was barely three weeks in office. … [He] often tells people that the act was among the very best things he accomplished in office.”
Professor Alta Charo became part of the global stem-cell community when UW-Madison researcher James Thomson sought her advice on the ethical implications of human embryonic stem cells derivation. Charo later served on the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and in 2008, to President Barack Obama’s Health & Human Services transition team, among other appointments.
Tammy Baldwin ’89 took the oath of office to become the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. Prior to that, she served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin’s 2nd district. Read more about Tammy Baldwin and five other Law School trailblazers in the Spring 2013 issue of the Gargoyle.
Geraldine Hines ’71 became the first black woman to sit on the Massachusetts high court, after she was nominated for the post by Gov. Deval Patrick’s and unanimously confirmed by the Governor’s Council. Learn more about her career in law.