Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 19

FEATURE
a group and realized the power of her speaking voice. These were the
days when, as one of her former women law clerks observed, Green
learned the importance of preparation, presentation, and demeanor
needed for a woman to succeed in the courtroom.
Green graduated from law school in 1941 when jobs for women lawyers
were nonexistent. After an insurance company called the dean looking
to hire a " good man " from the graduating class, the dean responded,
" How about a good woman? " The company was so concerned about
hiring a woman that its president traveled from Chicago to Washington
to determine if Green was suitable. She was.
For the next six years, Green tried civil cases on behalf of insurance
company defendants in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She was
given a case for her first trial that everyone thought was a loser. None
of the men in the office would accompany her to trial. To the surprise
of those male colleagues, she won the case. During those early days of
trying cases in the rural counties of Maryland, Green frequently drew
crowds who wanted to see something extraordinary in a courtroom -
a woman lawyer. She loved the challenge, drama, and humanity of the
courtroom.
After she had tried hundreds of cases, Green was ready for a new challenge. She applied to one of the major law firms in the District hoping
to secure a position as a trial lawyer. Instead, she was offered a job
working in the library or taking depositions as an assistant to the male
lawyers, several of whom she had litigated against and won. Green reiterated that she wanted to be in the courtroom handling her own cases.
One interviewing partner said his firm would never hire women to try
cases because " no woman would ever be as good as a man in the courtroom. " She fared no better in securing a trial lawyer position with the
federal government.
So, drawing on her entrepreneurial experience, in 1947 she hung out her
own shingle in the District and Maryland, determined to succeed as one of
a small handful of women trial lawyers. Succeed she did. Over the next 20
years, she had an active private practice handling a wide range of civil and
pro bono criminal matters. She shared office space for a time with Joyce
Hens Green, who would herself become a D.C. Superior Court judge and
later a federal district court judge. As Judge Joyce Green said in her oral
history for the Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit, June Green was " the
premier female litigator in the District and Maryland, " and Joyce was
grateful that June " mentored and taught [her] all along the way. " They truly
were " sisters-in-law " serving on the bench together for many years.
Not only did Green become a preeminent trial lawyer, but she also
believed strongly in giving back to the profession. She was president of
the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia in 1956 and was
named its Woman Lawyer of the Year in 1965. She was only the second
woman appointed to the prestigious position of bar examiner in the
District of Columbia. She testified before Congress for changes in the law
to achieve greater parity for women in divorces. Green was involved in
efforts to improve the juvenile court and, in a sign of the times, she
helped convince D.C. District Court judges to sit during the summer
because the " new " federal courthouse (now the E. Barrett Prettyman
Courthouse) that had opened in 1952 was air-conditioned.

Named after Gerhard Gesell, the committee's chair and then-partner at
Covington & Burling who later was appointed to the D.C. District Court,
the group was tasked with making recommendations to improve justice
in the District of Columbia courts. Among the committee's accomplishments were the adoption of the master calendar system and clarification
of the court's federal jurisdiction.

PATH TO THE BENCH
In early 1968, Green received a call from U.S. Deputy Attorney General
Warren Christopher, who wanted to meet with her that day. Christopher
informed Green that President Johnson wanted to name her to the
District Court.
Green tried not to get her hopes up, especially because her husband
warned her that the few women ever " shortlisted " for judgeships were
there simply for appearance, not selection. Time passed, and it seemed
that maybe he was right. Then, after a flurry of paperwork, she was nominated to the bench on April 11, 1968, and confirmed on June 6 that year.
Judge Green filled the seat held by the first woman appointed to a federal
trial court, Burnita Shelton Matthews, who had taken senior status.
Dismissive treatment did not end with Green's appointment. Many male
lawyers bristled that a woman was in charge of the courtroom and presiding over their clients' cases. Some of those lawyers did not mask their

By watching
what she
accomplished in
courtrooms and
conference rooms
filled only with
men, young
women lawyers
saw a path for
themselves.

One of the most important committees on which Green served,
however, was the Committee on the Administration of Justice of the
Judicial Council of the D.C. Circuit, known as the Gesell Committee.

MARCH/APRIL 2021

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WASHINGTON LAWYER

19



Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Digital Extras
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Staying Put in Big Law feature
A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Worth Reading
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
ABA Delegates Corner
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effecy
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 5
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Staying Put in Big Law feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 20
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 24
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 28
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 32
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 34
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 35
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - ABA Delegates Corner
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 45
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Pro Bono Effecy
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover4
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