Wednesday, February 7, 2007

UW Law Alumnae; Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Last night I went to the UW Law Women's Caucus Second-Annual Alumnae Recognition Reception. Professor Emerita Marjorie Dick Rombauer ('60), an expert in commercial law and legal writing and research, was given the Distinguished Alumna Award. And Justice Bobbe Bridge ('76) received the Outstanding Contribution to Women in the Law Award and delivered the keynote address.

Both Professor Rombauer and Justice Bridge talked about the dramatic difference in the makeup of the law school since they were students. When Prof. Rombauer was a 1L, there were only three upperclass women: one 3L and two 2Ls. When Justice Bridge was a student, there were more women, but still a small minority. Both honorees were firsts: Prof. Rombauer was the first female tenured faculty member other than the librarian, Marian Gould Gallagher, and the first female dean (she was acting dean for a year). Justice Bridge was the first female partner at her law firm (Garvey Schubert Barer). Now (and for the last several years) women are a majority of the entering class.

In her remarks, Justice Bridge related that some people see "the feminization of the legal profession" as a harm, but she spoke of the great benefits. While there will always be a role for adversarial lawyering, she applauded the move toward collaborative lawyering. She talked about the rise of "therapeutic jurisprudence" -- courts that try to solve problems instead of just meting out punishment or addressing one incident only to leave the fertile ground for the next and the next. These include community courts, drug courts, mental health courts, and (although she didn't mention them) youth courts.

For an introduction to therapeutic jurisprudence, see these materials from tne National Center for State Courts:

For more, see NCSC's Problem-Solving Courts Resource Center, which has information about specific types of these courts, help for courts, best practices checklists, and so on. The Problem-Solving Reporter is a newsletter with short pieces about developments around the country.

Problem solving courts (programs using therapeutic justice) in Washington:
(This isn't an exhaustive list -- it's just to give you a sense of the range of projects that are going on.)

1 comment:

Jessica said...

There is also a website for the International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence (INTJ) at
This site is run by David Wexler, one of the founders of the movement.