Easter Hours

March 31, 2021

Easter Hours

The Law Library will have reduced hours over the Easter break.  Check our our detailed hours page for Easter Break hours.

Women at BCLS: Mary Ann Glendon & Ruth-Arlene Howe

March 26, 2021

Women at BCLS: Mary Ann Glendon & Ruth-Arlene Howe

 

Newspaper clip titled "1st Woman Professor at BC." Includes a photo of Mary Ann Glendon.
Excerpt from the Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle, May 6, 1968, p. 15.

 

1968 marked a first for women at Boston College Law School - the hiring of the first woman faculty member, Mary Ann Glendon.

Professor Glendon had previously worked at a Chicago Law Firm, and taught at BCLS for 17 years before leaving for a position at Harvard Law School in 1986. During her time at BCLS she became a well-known scholar in areas of comparative and family law, and a well-beloved professor for courses including Property, Comparative Law, and Legal Process (a course she developed with Professor Dick Huber). 

Over Professor Glendon's tenure, much changed for women at BCLS. In her words, from an interview in the BCLS Alumni Association Newsletter (Jan/Feb 1986):

I think the most remarkable change, from that point of view, has bot been in the composition of the faculty, although the faculty has become a good deal more diverse, but in the composition of the student body. The first class that I taught in 1968 was overwhelmingly male. There were only a handful of women students. Incidentally, the other visible difference in the class was that all those male students had jackets and ties on. Now when I look out at the class, it's approximately 50% female, it looks diverse, there's a great range in ages, and when you see a suit and tie, it means it's interviewing season and the students are dressing up for employers. 

Her observations were spot on. Of the 135 BCLS students awarded degrees in 1968, only 5 were women - less than there were men named John (11), William (10), James (8), or Robert (8)! By 1986, 53% of the incoming class were women, and there were 6 other women on the full-time faculty. 

 

Professor Ruth-Arlene Howe.
Photo of Professor Ruth-Arlene Howe from Sui Juris (1980), the BCLS yearbook.
 

One of these women was Ruth-Arlene Howe (BCLS class of '74), who joined the faculty in 1978 and became the first Black woman at BCLS to achieve tenure and the rank of full professor. 

During her tenure, Professor Howe taught in areas spanning family law, elder law, legal interviewing and counseling, and professional responsibility; founded the Boston College Third-World Law Journal (later renamed as the Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice, which merged with the Boston College Law Review in 2017); advised the Black Law Student Association; and became well-known for her commitment to social justice and her particular dedication to issues faced by Black children. Professor Howe retired from teaching at BC in 2009, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the MA Black Lawyers Association in 2017.

Professors Glendon and Howe paved the way for the many amazing women who have since joined the BCLS faculty, and served as mentors and inspiration for the many women students who worked with them and attended their classes.We are lucky as a law school to have inherited their legacy.

 

Sources:

  • Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle, May 6, 1968. https://newspaperarchive.com/other-articles-clipping-may-06-1968-2304768/
  • Boston College Law School Alumni Association Newsletter, Vol. 7, no. 2, Jan/Feb 1986.
  • Boston College Law School Bulletin, 1969. https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bcbulletin/40/
  • Boston College Law School Bulletin, 1986. https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bcbulletin/48/
  • The Alledger, Vol. 7, no. 1, Sept 12, 1986. https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/alledger/56/ 
  • Sui Juris, 1980.
  • "Ruth-Arlene Howe Receives Lifetime Achievement Award," Boston College Law School Magazine, March 30, 2017. https://lawmagazine.bc.edu/2017/03/ruth-arlene-howe-receives-lifetime-achievement-award/

From the Archives: The Women's Law Center

March 19, 2021

From the Archives: The Women's Law Center

 

This Women's History Month, we wanted to take a look back at the Women's Law Center, which has been promoting gender equality at the Law School since at least 1971 (that's 50 years ago!).

In our search through the archives, we found this article from 30 years ago from The Alledger, the BCLS student newspaper that ran from the mid 1980s to early 1990s. The Women's Law Center gives an excellent summary of the group's purpose and debunks some (hopefully no longer common) assumptions. Take a look!

For a larger (and fully text-searchable!) version, find this article in The Alledger Vol. 12, no. 2, in the BCLS digital repository: https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/alledger/173/