The Patricia Adams Lecture Series continues to inspire

The Patricia Adams Lecture Series just wrapped up its seventh year, and it has become a highly anticipated event each semester. Students walk away inspired and empowered.

The Honorable Susan P. Graber was no exception.

“This series really empowers us to go out and accomplish things,” said Morgan Bingham ’20. “It’s a great way to meet new people and network,” added Kenna Pancake ’20.

Graber is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which serves nine western states and two Pacific Island jurisdictions. A graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she had previously worked in private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cincinnati, Ohio and Portland, Oregon. She was a Presiding Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals and also served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon before her current appointment.

Her keynote highlighted and history and future of women in the law profession and the importance of women in positions of authority and decision-making.

“It’s important to see women in positions of power,” said Ethan Miller ’20. “As a female, I appreciate having this kind of role model,” said Judy Smith ’20.

When she entered Yale Law School in 1969, less than 5% of lawyers in the country were women. When she became a judge in 1988, 20% of lawyers were women. In 2017, a year when her daughter is currently enrolled in law school, 36% of lawyers in the country are women.

“Women in the profession are now commonplace,” Graber said. “But we still have work to do.”

As a graduate of the all-female Wellesley College, Graber talked about the importance of seeing women in power and being given the opportunity to speak up and find mentors.  

“It gave us the courage to be bold and to be first.”

Graber looks forward to the future where there are less firsts to be had.

See photos of the event on our Flickr set.

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