The Making Women’s Legal History display captures the enormous contributions of WCL’s founders, faculty, and students over the last 120 years to the integration of women in the practice of law and the advancement of women’s rights. The Women and the Law Program and the Pence Law Library curated this exhibit to bring our Founders with us into our new home, and to celebrate the next 120 years of feminist advocacy, scholarship, and activism at WCL.

The Women and the Law Program

The Women and the Law Program integrates women's rights and gender studies into legal education, practice and doctrine.  Since the Program’s founding in 1984 by Professor Ann Shalleck, we have engaged in collaborative projects that highlight the need for feminist analysis of law and legal institutions.  Our students, scholars and teachers are part of a long line of brave advocates who challenge assumptions about the role of women in public and private life.  We are proud to carry on their legacy, and to make women’s legal history of our own.

The Washington College of Law Historical Collection

Many of these images can be found in the Washington College of Law Historical Collection on the Pence Law Library website. The collection includes approximately 22 scrapbooks documenting the early history of the Washington College of Law as well as its founders, Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett. Of note are several scrapbooks relating to Kappa Beta Phi, a women’s law sorority. Also included are issues of the first WCL student newspaper, The Grit, the school yearbook, The Brief, and Mussey family correspondence.