When Patricia McGowan Wald graduated from Yale Law School in 1951, she received a single job offer, at 10 percent less than her male colleagues. At that time, only three percent of attorneys in the United States were women.
Ultimately, Wald would serve as Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the late-80s, as well as the U.S. representative on the International Criminal Tribune for the former Yugoslavia. She visited Albany Law School on March 10 to deliver the keynote speech at the 17 th Annual Kate Stoneman Day.
During her keynote speech, Wald focused on women's rights, both domestically and internationally. Click here to view the speech.
"The price of women's equality is eternal vigilance," said Wald, noting as a recent example that 25 percent of the Egyptian protestors were women.
Wald received the first-ever Miriam M. Netter '72 Award, which will be awarded annually to the Kate Stoneman Day keynote speaker, for her lifelong commitment to actively seeking change and expanding opportunities for women. Margaret Clemens '84, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, PC, in Rochester, N.Y., and Maria Melendez '92, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP, in New York, N.Y., also received Kate Stoneman Awards at the event.
The Miriam M. Netter '72 Award was announced as part of a tribute to Miriam "Mimi" Netter, a founder and fervent advocate of Kate Stoneman Day, who had an impressive legal career spanning four decades, representing and counseling corporations, technology start-up companies, nonprofits, colleges and universities, and individuals. She was honored with her own Kate Stoneman Award in 1996.
The Kate Stoneman Awards are presented in honor of Kate Stoneman, the first woman to practice law in New York state and the first female graduate of Albany Law School in 1898.
"If Kate had a second journey," said Wald, "it would have been on the international front." She noted that there is still much to be done to improve women's rights around the world.
Click here for more information on Albany Law School's Kate Stoneman Day.