Pioneering women who expanded the legal profession

October 7, 2013 8:45 AM

Linda P. Campbell

Though the legal profession hasn’t always welcomed women, the Tulane Law School has a history of producing top-notch female lawyers who’ve left their distinctive mark across the United States and internationally.

Bessie Margolin

Bessie Margolin, who received bachelor’s and law degrees from Tulane University in 1930, argued 27 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court for the Labor Department, winning 24. (Photo from the Tulane Law School)

Five distinguished women will share their perspectives on Oct. 14 during “Pioneering Women of Tulane Law School,” at 4:30 p.m. at the school’s Wendell H. Gauthier Appellate Moot Court Room.

The discussion, which is open to the public, will tell the story of outstanding women who for decades have made lasting contributions to law, government and society.

Planned participants are:  
Marlene Trestman, author of Fair Labor, a forthcoming biography of Bessie Margolin, a 1930 graduate of the Tulane Law School. As associate solicitor for the Department of Labor, Margolin argued 27 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 24.

Margot Mazeau, who graduated at the top of her Tulane Law School class in 1958, worked as a law clerk to Chief Justice Fournet of the Louisiana Supreme Court, was a lawyer for the Federal Maritime Commission and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and practiced at a New Orleans firm.

Cynthia Shoss, a Newcomb College graduate in 1972 and Tulane Law School graduate in 1974, a senior partner in the New York office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, where she co-chairs its Insurance Transactions and Products Practice.

Terry O’Neill, a 1980 Tulane Law School graduate, who practiced law in New Orleans, taught at the University of California–Davis and Tulane Law School and currently is president of the National Organization for Women.  

Lynn Luker, who received her juris doctor degree in 1981 and two master of laws degrees from the Tulane Law School, a prominent litigator who heads her own New Orleans firm.

“Tulane Law alumnae have long played an outsized role in opening the legal profession to women,” says Dean David Meyer. “This program will provide an opportunity to celebrate their impact, but also to examine the challenges that remain in ensuring women’s advancement in the law.”

Linda P. Campbell is director of communications for the Tulane Law School.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000