Click here for the home page View a list of full-text sources - i.e. works, books etc.. View a list of all authors in the database View a list of all documents (e.g. letters, speeches etc...) in the database View a list of all document projects (collections of primary texts organized to answer a specific question) Browse a list of documents organized by subject Find sources (i.e. books, pamphlets etc...) by specific criteria In-depth text searching with more than 20 fields Click here for comprehensive help View all lesson plans, document based questions and other teaching tools Browse a list of social movements in the United States and go directly to documents View a list of all images in the database

How Did Clara Foltz's Experiences as a Woman Lawyer and Suffragist Influence Her Conception of a Public Defender for Those Accused of Crime, 1878-1913?


   Clara Foltz (1848-1934), one of the first women lawyers in the United States, was the first person to propose a public defender and launch a movement based on the radical idea that the state should provide a defense for those it accuses. The idea originated in her experiences as a trial lawyer facing unfair prosecutors and a woman seeking professional recognition. From the suffrage movement, Foltz drew arguments, opportunities, and comrades. This project examines Foltz's rise to prominence in the legal profession and her campaign for a public defender. It concludes with the enactment of the first such office in Los Angeles shortly after women won the vote in California in 1911.




Copyright 1997-2007 by Thomas Dublin, Kathryn Kish Sklar and Alexander Street Press, L.L.C.  All rights reserved.
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site