LAWYERING by Helene E. Schwartz


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Schwartz, who survived the anti-feminist gauntlet at Columbia Law School in the early '60's, traversed a surprising route from a posh Wall Street firm to close identification with civil rights causes. Fresh out of law school, she stumbled unexpectedly onto the defense team in a libel suit brought by Linus Pauling against the National Review and its publisher (William Rusher) and editor (William Buckley, who emerges here as a chivalrous and generous client). It was a bizarre beginning for the future spokeswoman for the Chicago Eight appeal, but Schwartz settled with equanimity into the role of ""house liberal"" in an otherwise all-male firm of dignified tories, and went to work establishing that Pauling's positions indeed paralleled those of the Daily Worker (the case was eventually dismissed on another issue). Some four years later, her acquaintance with Leonard Weinglass of the Chicago Eight conspiracy defense team led to her role in the appeal. She now specializes in civil rights cases (after the 1972 GOP convention she defended two Zippies arrested for carrying non-existent firearms). Schwartz has a flair for explaining complex legal issues with patience and clarity. She comes across as both resourceful and engaging, and her increasing refusal to shirk the feminist issues imposed upon lawyers who happen to be women is described with a likable absence of posturing. But the personal and legal stories are intregrated with frequently perfunctory or lame transitions, so that the woman-lawyer issue of ten seems clumsily to invade the courtroom narratives.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1975
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux