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Chesterfield Smith, America's Lawyer$
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Mary E. Adkins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066660

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066660.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Growth and Transition

Growth and Transition

Chapter:
(p.117) 8 Growth and Transition
Source:
Chesterfield Smith, America's Lawyer
Author(s):

Mary E. Adkins

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066660.003.0008

As Chesterfield Smith’s firm mushroomed, it advocated hiring women and minorities. This effort did not always go smoothly; many partners were old-guard southerners who dismissed the need to diversify. Smith often had to champion his hires, and began a pattern of having a junior associate, usually a woman, work closely with him for a year or two to assist, learn, and gain contacts and experience. Two of these “Chesterfield girls” were Martha Barnett, the firm’s first woman lawyer, who would go on to become president of the American Bar Association, and Marilyn Holifield, who would become the firm’s first black woman partner. Smith decided to relinquish management of the firm in his sixties, and a period of several years of bumpy leadership models and conflict among partners ensued. Smith did not keep his hands off but often dipped back in to settle disputes or to stir the pot. Smith, still active in the ABA, began a close friendship with then-professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg through ABA activities.

Keywords:   Martha Barnett, Marilyn Holifield, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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