Myra Bradwell Dinner Focuses on Gender and the Law

Summer 2009

At the annual Myra Bradwell Dinner hosted by the Columbia Law Women’s Association, veteran public interest attorney Susan Lindenauer ’64 reflected on her career accomplishments as she discussed the progress women lawyers have made over the past 40 years. Lindenauer, a vice president of the New York State Bar Association and the retired general counsel of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, was the keynote speaker at the event, which honors Myra Bradwell, a lawyer who was denied admission to the Illinois bar in 1872.

When Lindenauer came to Columbia Law School, she was one of only 11 women in her graduating class, and the Law School faculty was a group comprised solely of men. Now, there are a growing number of female graduates each year, she said, and many women have served as Law School professors, including Professor Barbara Aronstein Black, who became the Law School’s first female dean in 1986.

Despite such advances, Lindenauer acknowledged that more work remains to improve gender parity in the law. In the words of Robert Frost, Lindenauer concluded: “We have miles to go before we sleep.”