The Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy

The Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy

The Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy was originally established to bring distinguished visiting professors to Albany Law School. In 2007, the Law School changed the position to a permanent chair to commemorate Kate Stoneman's extraordinary achievements and to ensure that her contributions to society are recognized and continued at Albany Law School by inspiring new generations of students in the legal profession.

Katherine "Kate" Stoneman

Katherine "Kate" Stoneman became the first woman admitted to practice law in New York, paving the way for thousands who followed. She did so against enormous odds; supporting herself as a teacher, she worked nights, weekends, and summers as a clerk to an Albany lawyer until she graduated in 1898. She was the first woman to pass the New York State Bar Exam, but her application to join the bar was rejected because of her gender. She then launched a successful campaign to amend the Code of Civil Procedure to permit the admission of qualified applicants without regard to sex or race. She was a leading activist in three major reform movements of her day: suffrage, temperance, and world peace.


The Kate Stoneman Visiting Professors

Marina Angel, Fall 2006 
Professor of Law at Temple University's Beasley School of Law. B.S., Barnard College; J.D., Columbia Law School. Focuses on improving the status of women and minorities in the legal profession and reforming the profession in order to make their advancement possible. Has aided individual colleagues and students in career counseling. Since 2001 has compiled statistics on the status of women in the legal profession within the state of Pennsylvania, with results presented in the Pennsylvania Bar Association's "Annual Report Card."

Ann Shalleck, Spring 2006
Professor of Law, Director of the Women and the Law Program and the Carrington Shields Scholar at American University's Washington College of Law. She has expertise in clinical legal education, legal theory, Family Law and child welfare. She has been a presenter at many conferences on clinical legal education, gender & the law, and gender and international human rights; she organized a symposium on domestic violence and achieving gender equality; and she has authored many books and articles on clinical education, child welfare and women's rights.

Qudsia Mirza, Fall 2004
Senior lecturer in law at the University of East London; LL.B., University of East Anglia; LL.M., London School of Economics and Political Science. Widely published in the areas of discrimination law in the United Kingdom and Islamic Law and regularly advises trade unions, local authorities, and other constituencies on aspects of discrimination law and legal reform.

Dianne Otto, Spring 2004
Associate professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. Teaches in the areas of human rights, international law and criminal law. Research interests include utilizing feminist, postcolonial and queer theory to reveal voices that are marginalized by mainstream international legal discourse. Currently researching economic and social rights in Australia and rethinking notion of the "indivisibility" of human rights with a focus on gender. Recent publications include chapters in Reaching Beyond Words: Giving Meaning to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Women and International Human Rights Law; Laws of the Postcolonial; and Security in a Post-Cold War World.

Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, 2003
Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; B.Juris, LL.B., LL.M., University of Bophuthatswana; LL.M., University of Pennsylvania. Also, Legal Profession's Woman of the Year, University of Pretoria: Pretoria Centre for Human Rights; Professor Emeritus, Department of Jurisprudence and Comparative Law, University of Pretoria; Professor Emeritus, Department of Indigenous Law, University of South Africa. Throughout her career she has written extensively, presented papers and participated in a myriad of international conference, seminars and workshops in South Africa and around the world, in sociological jurisprudence and particularly on human rights, customary law, focusing on the impact of law on society generally, and on women and children specifically.

Penelope Andrews, 2002
Penelope Andrews, associate professor, City University of New York Law School at Queens College; B.A., LL.B., University of Natal in Durban; LL.M., Columbia University School of Law. Also visiting professor, University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, and the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore; and lecturer in the Department of Legal Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Contributor, The South African Constitution and the Enforcement of Rights, South African Journal of Human Rights, Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice, and Women and International Human Rights Law.

Martha F. Davis, 2000
Martha F. Davis, legal director for NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDEF) in New York City; A.B., Harvard; J.D., University of Chicago; B.A., M.A, Oxford University. At NOW LDEF, oversees advocacy in economic justice, violence against women, education, reproductive rights, and employment. Author of Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973 (Yale UP); published widely on sex equality, poverty law, and legal history in law reviews and newspaper op-ed pieces.