Gratitude for Nevada Women in the Law

Read this thoughtful article written by CCBA President Paul Ray

By Paul C. Ray

Let’s take a moment to celebrate women in the law during Women’s History Month. Who are your favorites? Here are some of mine.

Sandra Day O’Connor broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, changing the culture there forever. Besides her meticulously researched opinions, she became known for her aerobics classes at the basketball court above the courtroom.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an all-time favorite of many. She said you should fight in a way that will lead others to join you in the things you care about. Justice Ginsburg also contributed to the culture by wearing a dissent collar, which she wore when she disagreed with the majority opinion the Court was announcing. Justice O’Connor followed Justice Ginsburg’s lead of adding women’s style with lace collars to the judicial robes of the Court. Building on Justice Ginsburg’s professional leadership, the Court now has four women justices.

Nevada women attorneys have also accomplished many amazing things. Who do you most admire?

Miriam Shearing was Nevada’s first female Eighth Judicial District Court judge and first woman justice, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nevada. In the current judiciary five out of seven of the justices serving on the Supreme Court of Nevada are women: Chief Justice Elissa Cadish, Justice Kristina Pickering, Justice Lidia Stiglich, Justice Linda Bell, and Justice Patricia Lee. We thank Chief Justice Elissa Cadish for speaking at the CCBA’s January 2024 luncheon about the state of the judiciary and for swearing in our current officers and executive board. The CCBA greatly appreciates the support of all our justices and judges, most of whom are women.

Emily Wanderer was another female lawyer pioneer in Nevada. One of Ms. Wanderer’s employees, Sally Loehrer, was the first of many women to serve as Clark County Bar Association President. Judge Loehrer was also a founder of the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys.

Last year the CCBA celebrated the “Toast to Barbara Buckley,” Nevada’s first female Speaker of the Nevada General Assembly. Ms. Buckley is also well known as an all-time great pioneer in Nevada for access to justice with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.

Many women leaders in law are not attorneys, like CCBA’s invaluable executive director Donna Wiessner and communications manager Stephanie Abbott, to name a few. We are grateful for the great examples of service and leadership so many other women set for us both as members of the CCBA and as professionals in Clark County.

About the author

Paul C. Ray has practiced business and real estate litigation and appeals for 32 years. He is with the law firm of Paul C. Ray, Chtd. Paul serves as CCBA President through December 31, 2024.

About the article

© 2024 Clark County Bar Association (CCBA). All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher. Editorial policy available upon request.

This article was originally published in the Communiqué (Mar. 2024), the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association. See https://clarkcountybar.org/about/member-benefits/communique-2024/communique-mar-2024/.

The articles and advertisements appearing in Communiqué magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the CCBA, the CCBA Publications Committee, the editorial board, or the other authors. All legal and other issues discussed are not for the purpose of answering specific legal questions. Attorneys and others are strongly advised to independently research all issues.

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