Honoree Profile: Judith L. Lichtman
Judith L. Lichtman began her legal career as a civil rights attorney for the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
In 1971, a group of women lawyers from all fields of practice, interested in working on women's legal rights, with thousands of members formed the Women's Legal Defense Fund, now the National Partnership for Women and Families. In 1974 Lichtman became the first partnership staff member. Early work of the organization included the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, an amendment to Article VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Throughout the years, access to health care and civil rights have been major issues under Lichtman's leadership. She paved the way within the DC lobbying community for women to be powerbrokers equal to men. For this she was recognized by Washingtonian and Ladies' Home Journal magazines.
She has also worked effectively to have women appointed to important positions and policymaking boards. A founder of Emily's List, founded in 1985 to support pro-choice candidates, Lichtman has served on boards and received awards and recognition concerning numerous human rights issues.
Barbara Boxer said of Emily's List "I would not be in the U.S.Senate today if it were not for Emily's List...and I would not have ten Democratic women colleagues, either."