Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 41

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
LANGER continued from page 38
be used to produce a male doctor would be
wasted on a woman."
Langer was outraged. She realized that to
fight that sort of discrimination, a law degree
might be more useful than a medical degree.
After obtaining her BA cum laude from Barnard
College, she worked as a legal clerk for attorneys
William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass on
the defense for the headline-making Chicago
Conspiracy Trial. That experience drove home
her desire to pursue a legal career.
When Langer arrived at Rutgers Law School in
the fall of 1970, she was among the more than
60 female students in her class. "The entering
class was made up [of] an unprecedented 20
percent women," Langer says. "It was said to be
the highest in the United States."
That makes sense considering that Rutgers
at the time had earned the moniker the
"People's Electric Law School," in part for
being a cauldron of political activism. Dean
Willard Heckel had invited Arthur Kinoy,
a revered civil liberties attorney, to join the
faculty. Under Heckel's leadership, the law
school drew many progressives who advocated for racial justice and fought against
the Vietnam War. The women's liberation
movement also energized Rutgers.
In 1970, two women faculty members at Rutgers
Law School - Eva Hanna Hanks and Ruth Bader
Ginsburg - were on track to become tenured
professors. In addition, civil rights activists
Annamay Sheppard and Rita Bender served
on the clinical faculty. "The remaining faculty
members were male, many of whom appeared
wholly unprepared for the sizable body of
women law students entering, or maybe perhaps
invading, the campus," Langer says. "The style
of instructional banter from many of these men
was sometimes crude and often sexist."

entered the law school. Both shared with Langer
their interest in creating a school-sponsored
journal focused on women in the legal field.
Boylan had already published one issue, but she
lacked funding and personnel to sustain it.
Langer confronted some resistance from the
school, but Heckel encouraged her to move
forward. After gaining full support from
Sheppard, and with Ginsburg serving as faculty
adviser to the 19-member staff, the Women's
Rights Law Reporter - the oldest legal publication in the country focused on women's rights
law - launched in 1970.
"[Ginsburg] had a deep interest in women's rights
issues," Langer recalls. "She devoted countless
hours to writing and editing, counseling the staff,
attending meetings, and inevitably mediating
problems that arose with the administration."
Langer says the skills she sharpened as an editor
helped prepare her for a trailblazing career in the
field of women's rights. After graduating from
Rutgers, she worked for congresswoman and
feminist icon Bella Abzug, and then in the Civil
Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 1984, she established her own practice. Langer
later hosted the cable TV series Behind Closed

Doors, which broadcast out of the University of
the District of Columbia and looked at domestic
relations from women's perspectives.
With a nearly four-decade legal career behind
her, Langer revels in her life as a full-time artist.
She creates most of her work in a nearby studio
on Riverside Drive. These days she's focusing on
collages, inspired by the Big Apple's towering
landscape. She also remains connected to the
law, retaining her bar memberships in New York
and the District of Columbia. "Who knows?
Someday, a case may come along, or I may
want to work with the ACLU or some other
public interest group," Langer says. "I enjoy the
idea of being able to do that."

Do you know a D.C. Bar member who has
done outstanding work in his or her area of
practice? We are interested in hearing stories
about the careers and personal journeys of
our diverse members around the country
and the world. Pitch us a profile story at
editorial@dcbar.org.

JEST IS FOR ALL

"The idea of a woman entering law school in
1970 bordered on audacious. It placed us
squarely in the category of [being] odd, even
extremely brilliant, [but] not cut out for marriage
or children. We were troublemakers," says Langer.

MAKING HISTORY
To help cope with the sexism, Langer joined a
women's consciousness group where she met
the future cofounders of the Women's Rights Law
Reporter, Ann Marie Boylan, a recent Rutgers Law
graduate, and Diane Crothers, who had just

JUNE 2020

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WASHINGTON LAWYER

41



Washington Lawyer - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2020

YOUR VOICE
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
ON FURTHER REVIEW
THE LEARNING CURVE
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - YOUR VOICE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE LEARNING CURVE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover4
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