August 29, 1927 — Daily Notes
“‘Men, Not Women, are Frauds’ by Elmer Clark”
“Are women more ‘two-faced’ than men? Are they slyer, slicker, cuter? Do they play a double game with more finesse than the masculine sex?
Don’t fool yourself!
Miss Dorothy Frooks, 27-year-old attorney of this city, and one of the first women ever admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, says that men are the more expert ‘double-crossers.’
Women, she declares, are straightforward and honest — but her experience, not only as one of our foremost Portias but as a chief yeoman in the United States Navy during the war, revealed the masculine gender in a rather unfavorable light.
‘Men will hold the hand of one girl,’ says Miss Frooks, ‘while they make impassioned love to another.
‘I’ve known a lot of them who pledge their unswerving devotion to their wives — and an hour or so later, after they reach the office, are swearing their undying affection for their stenographers.’
Miss Frooks is one of the youngest and most successful women lawyers in the country. She admits that she had to overcome double the obstacles and prejudices that a man would encounter.
‘Women are handicapped before they enter on a business or professional career,’ she asserts, ‘and then they have to be twice as clever as a man to succeed.
‘Business women are far superior to men, and for one good reason: They are more honest in their business dealings. They won’t “cut corners” or take advantage of anybody. They never have any axes to grind.’
Besides being a lawyer and yeoman, Miss Frooks is an author and once gained considerable space in the sporting pages by referring several fights.
Miss Frooks’ last case was another triumph for her. She gained the acquittal of Catherine De Ninno, of Evanston, Ill., on a charge of shooting a man on the street. The man had betrayed her and, after she had married, told her husband of the affair. Her husband turned her out of their home and the shooting followed.”
August 29, 1934 — The Gazette and Daily
“Predicts Woman Will Be President Within Generation”
“A woman President of the United States within a generation — that was the prediction today of Miss Lillian D. Rock, secretary of the National Association of Women Lawyers.
‘I expect that within my own lifetime some brilliant woman will make her way from the ballot box to the Presidency,’ she told the association’s annual convention.
‘All of our country’s presidents have gone forth from women. What is to prevent woman herself from going forth to occupy this exalted post? Indeed, I will be sadly disappointed if, within the next decade, a woman is not made at least the vice president of this great nation.’
Miss Rock asserted that the most important task facing the women lawyers was to increase the number of women judges. She charged that men lawyers and judges ‘are not sufficiently social minded to even undertake the important task of interpreting the laws in light of the new era.'”
August 29, 1949 — New York Age
“‘Woman Lawyers’ Lot Not Easy; She Must Balk Both Color and Sex Bias’
by Ruth Whitehead Whaley (Executive Assistant, Dept. Welfare Commissioner)”
“There is still considerable interest in the situation of a Negro woman who is a lawyer.
Obviously she must have the educational training required of all lawyers, must pass the same Bar examinations for a license to practice law. As a Negro, she is subject to all the illogical inequalities which inevitably accompany the lack of full integration of Negroes into our American life.
But interest really centers around the questions (1) what more if any does ‘being a lawyer’ require of a Negro woman than it does of any other person who is a lawyer, (2) is it more difficult for her? (3) can she work at her profession with no greater handicaps than those suffered by a Negro man?
More is required of a Negro woman who is a lawyer by her colleagues, the courts and the community. This performance ‘over and beyond the call of duty’ is not generally a conscious requirement on their part. It is the penalty usually exacted from a minority or from pioneers, and Negro women are a minority among lawyers. History may well record as a pioneer every Negro woman who in the year, 1949, is a lawyer.
In the public mind, lawyers are divided thus:
(a) White — Negro
(b) White — Negro
She is the last in this divisive thinking to enter the field, her number is still comparatively few. In 1930, there were about 25 Negro women in the United States who were lawyers. New York City and Chicago have the largest number. There are 12-15 in New York City. Less than one-half of them are engaged in active practice. Today, there are less than 150 in the entire United States, of whom less than 100 actually practice law.
All women who are lawyers must meet the competition of their male colleagues and occasionally one forgets to be gallant in his thinking, and the overlooked errors of a male colleague become the colossal blunders of the woman.
Because the Court has for these centuries been a male precinct, no woman can afford the usual deficiencies in performance else she is likely to receive its silent contempt or its patronizing forbearance. Negro women are more easily identified, they are less in number and more recent invaders.
The community accepts her adventurous role but scrutinizes closely whether she is making her normal contribution to it as a woman. In addition she receives more calls for community service than her male colleagues because her number is few, and where courtesy or need seems to call for the name and presence of a woman and also a representative of the legal profession, this need is ofttimes combined by naming the woman who is a lawyer.
Her clients have a tendency to accept her on a more highly individualized basis than even the usual selective method between attorney and client, but once she has served them satisfactorily, they are bound to her by ‘hoops of steel’ and whatever their prior or general opinion of women as lawyers, her clients are sure that ‘she,’ their lawyer, is ‘an exception.’ (This thinking is generally incident to minority representatives.)
Among Negro women who are lawyers, as is true of white women, the majority have not ventured into the active practice of law, or if they did, have not remained long. They are to be found in various governmental positions, in the fields of social work and teaching with a scattering representation in business and other vocations.
Their leadership and general participation is impressed upon political and civil groups.
Women generally suffer from lack of the numerous opportunities for casual meeting with potential clients which their male colleagues enjoy, therefore their public meetings are a necessity and because she has not yet ceased to be Exhibit A, the Negro woman has opportunity for an abundance of these, which if wisely used and fairly distributed over the various areas of community life, are rewarding to her as an individual and as a lawyer. That their use and her service therein given may deprive her of much of her leisure time and compel her to drink deeply but quickly of home joys and many feminine interests is a part of the price she pays for having selected a field as broad and exacting, but so fertile in service and attendant satisfaction, so generous with its favors of distinction.
Despite her recent arrival (in 1920, there were 4) and her comparatively few numbers (in 1940 there were over 175,000 lawyers in the United States, of whom about 1,500 were Negroes and less than 75 Negro women) the Negro woman has deported herself with excellence not only in actual practice and court work, but in assimilating quickly into public service as a lawyer. They are now represented on the Bench in the City, County and State Attorneys’ Offices, and despite the normal handicaps incident to minorities and pioneers, they should no longer be ‘on trial.’
After over 20 years of active practice in New York City, my own devotion to the law has not wavered. My admiration is undimmed and there is no sweeter music to my ears than ‘Hear ye, Hear ye, His Honor the Justice of the Court — all persons having business with this Court, draw near, give your attention and ye shall be heard.’
This is Democracy’s battle cry.”