Moderated by Magistrate Judge Joan Glazer Margolis
Thursday, March 4 | 1:00 PM
Fair Labor Lawyer: Before there was a “Notorious RBG,” there was an “Audacious Bessie M.” From the New Orleans’s Jewish orphanage in which Bessie Margolin was raised to the United States Supreme Court, Fair Labor Lawyer traces the inspiring journey of the unsung Jewish legal trailblazer who worked tirelessly to protect American workers and their rights. Over the course of her career, Bessie Margolin defended the New Deal’s Tennessee Valley Authority, drafted the rules for American Military Tribunals for Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg, and became the nation’s first enforcer of the Equal Pay Act and a founder of NOW. Lacking female role models, Margolin used her brains, beauty and Southern charm to overcome antisemitism and sexism, winning respect in a man’s world of law. Fair Labor Lawyer also reveals facets of Margolin’s carefully guarded private life, including her risky clandestine romances with high-profile government officials who won her heart — but never her hand in marriage.
The Watergate Girl: Obstruction of justice, the specter of impeachment, sexism at work, shocking revelations: Jill Wine-Banks takes us inside her trial by fire as a Watergate prosecutor.
It was a time, much like today, when Americans feared for the future of their democracy, and women stood up for equal treatment. At the crossroads of the Watergate scandal and the women’s movement was a young lawyer named Jill Wine Volner (as she was then known), barely thirty years old and the only woman on the team that prosecuted the highest-ranking White House officials. Called “the mini-skirted lawyer” by the press, she fought to receive the respect accorded her male counterparts—and prevailed.
In The Watergate Girl, Jill Wine-Banks opens a window on this troubled time in American history. It is impossible to read about the crimes of Richard Nixon and the people around him without drawing parallels to today’s headlines. The book is also the story of a young woman who sought to make her professional mark while trapped in a failing marriage, buffeted by sexist preconceptions, and harboring secrets of her own.
Moderator Magistrate Judge Joan Glazer Margolis: Joan Margolis was a federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. She was appointed to the court in 1985, becoming the first female appointed as a magistrate judge for the district. She retired from the court on April 30, 2018.
Questions? Contact Lindsey Barger at email@example.com