The first female law clerk was hired in 1944. However, the entry of women into the law clerk profession was met with sexism. The accomplishments of the first few female law clerks also received little attention. This article seeks to rectify this historical injustice by highlighting the accomplishments of Virginia’s first female law clerks: Doris Bray, Jane Caster Sweeney, and Penelope Dalton Coffman. Doris Bray clerked for Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Spencer Bell in 1967. Jane Caster Sweeney clerked for Federal District Court Judge Oren Lewis from 1960 to 1962. Penelope Dalton Coffman clerked for Virginia Supreme Court Judge C. Vernon Spratley from 1966 to 1967. This article highlights their careers, accomplishments, and their impact on the legal profession.
Anne Rodgers and Todd C. Peppers,
Being in the Room Where It Happens: Celebrating Virginia’s First Female Law Clerks,
29 Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rts. & Soc. Just. 41
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol29/iss4/4
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