In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring 7 female lawyers who are changing history, breaking glass ceilings and not apologizing for it! Becoming a lawyer gives you the power to effect change around the world and to have a profound impact on history. Each of these women uses her knowledge and power to fight for what she believes in. What will you fight for? Here’s our list of 7 badass women lawyers, in alphabetical order.
1. Kelly Ayotte, Villanova University School of Law
Kelly Ayotte served as a Republican U.S. Senator from New Hampshire from 2011-2017. She was the second-youngest of the 20 female senators in the Republican Party. In 2004, she became the first and only woman to serve as New Hampshire’s Attorney General, until 2009 when she resigned to pursue a bid for the U.S. Senate, which she won. In 2013, Ayotte was named number 1 among the 25 most influential women in the GOP by Newsmax magazine. Following her loss for reelection in 2016, President Donald Trump chose Ayotte to lead the White House team escorting Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch to meetings on Capitol Hill.
2. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Yale Law School
If you paid any attention to the 2016 presidential race, you’d know that Hillary Clinton has an expansive resume. To sum it up, she was the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978, the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979, the First Lady of Arkansas from 1983-1992, the First Lady of the United States from 1993-2001, a U.S. Senator representing New York from 2001-2009, the 67th Secretary of State from 2009-2013 and in 2016 she was the first woman to ever become a presidential candidate for a major political party in the United States. After earning a J.D. from Yale Law School, Clinton focused her career around fighting for gender equality, healthcare reform and bettering the lives of American children.
3. Kellyanne Conway, George Washington University Law School
Kellyanne Conway played an important role in the 2016 election as a Senior Advisor and eventual Campaign Manager to the Donald Trump campaign. She was the first woman to ever successfully run a presidential campaign and is currently serving as Counselor to the President for Donald Trump. Prior to working for the Trump Campaign, Conway founded her own polling firm, worked for multiple conservative political figures and appeared as a commentator on polling and the political scene.
4. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Columbia Law School
Ruther Bader Ginsburg, also known as RBG, is the second female justice appointed as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. Before being appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg spent a portion of her legal career focusing on the advancement of women’s rights. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and was a co-founder of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. She has played a role in notable Supreme Court cases including Citizens United v. FEC, Bush v. Gore, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and United States v. Windsor.
5. Michelle Obama, Harvard Law School
As First Lady of the United States from 2008-2016, Michelle Obama spent her time advocating on behalf of families and children. Her initiatives included promoting arts and education, helping military families, addressing obesity and encouraging healthy eating habits. After earning her J.D. at Harvard Law School, she became an associate at Sidley & Austin. Throughout the 1990’s, Obama held positions in the Chicago city government, a non-profit organization and as an Associate Dean at the University of Chicago. In 2016, it was revealed by a national poll that Michelle Obama had higher approval ratings at 79% than her own husband, President Barack Obama, who’s approval rating was 58%.
6. Sonia Sotomayor, Yale Law School
Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, Sonia Sotomayor is the first Supreme Court Associate Justice of Hispanic heritage and the third female justice. Prior to becoming a Supreme Court justice, Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1997. Sotomayor has spent her career focusing on the rights of defendants and calling for reform of the criminal justice system.
7. Elizabeth Warren, Rutgers School of Law–Newark
You’ve probably seen Elizabeth Warren pop up a lot in your social/news feed in the last year. She’s become one of the most outspoken Democratic Senators in daily news. Prior to becoming a Senator, Warren was a professor of law, and taught at the University of Texas School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania Law School and most recently at Harvard Law School. In 2012 she became the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. Under the Obama Administration, Warren held multiple important roles in bettering America’s economy following the 2008 financial crisis. In January 2017, Warren announced that she would be running for a second term as U.S. Senator in 2018.