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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Women's (Legal) History Month, Part One: Chief Justice Toal makes history (again!)

By Kirsten E. Small

Just as I was casting about for my first post about the history of female lawyers in this country, the South Carolina Bar's weekly e-newsletter arrived in my box with the news that South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal has been named the first recipient of the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education. The award, given by the National Center for State Courts recognizes Chief Justice Toal for her leadership in the SC Supreme Court's "long history of supporting civics education." The press release is here.

The civics programs sponsored by the Court are described here.

Of course, this is not the first time Chief Justice Toal has made history. She was the South Carolina Supreme Court's first female justice and currently serves as the first female Chief Justice. As her official bio notes, when she was admitted to the bar in 1968, fewer than one percent of the state's lawyers were women.

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