ACLU Attorney Sara Mandelbaum Honored as a "Great Woman of the 20th Century"

March 18, 1999 12:00 am

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Thursday, March 18, 1999

NEW YORK, NY — Sara Mandelbaum, Senior Attorney for the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, will be honored tonight as one of the “Great Women of the 20th Century” by New York City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi for her commitment to promoting and securing equal rights for people across the nation.

Since 1992, Mandelbaum has played a leading role in the Women’s Rights Project, founded in 1971 by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has defended the civil rights of both women and men in numerous high-profile cases. Most recently, she successfully won $375,000 in defense of Maryland State Trooper H. Kevin Knussman in the first-ever sex discrimination verdict in a federal Family and Medical Leave Act case.

Mandelbaum was also involved in a winning challenge to the all-male Citadel, the military college in South Carolina. And in December of 1998, she successfully argued that two teen mothers barred from National Honor Society membership must be admitted to the group.

“Even with laws on the books that mandate equality, we’ve got a long way to go,” said Mandelbaum. “Pay equity, healthcare, retirement benefits, quality and affordable childcare — these are issues that matter not just for women, but for everyone. It is our job to keep shaking things up and blowing the whistle until the laws truly mean justice and equality for all.”

In recognition of her work in the areas of civil rights and constitutional law, Jane Magazine named Mandelbaum one of the “15 Gutsiest Women of the Year” in 1998.

“Sara has been a tenacious advocate for women’s rights, whose victories have made an important difference in the lives of real people,” said Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the ACLU. “We can all be proud of the progress that has been made. Justice Ginsburg began the Women’s Rights Project almost three decades ago, but as Sara’s work shows, there is much more that needs to be done in the ongoing battle for equal rights.”

In addition to her litigation work, Mandelbaum has taught Feminist Jurisprudence at New York Law School and published various articles on women ‘s rights, as well as poetry and book reviews.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Mandelbaum was a litigation associate at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and a Revson Fellow at the National Organization of Women Legal Defense and Education Fund. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University, magna cum laude, and her law degree with High Honors from Rutgers University School of Law. Ms. Mandelbaum lives in New York City with her partner, Stephen Goldstein, and their baby, Daniel Harris Goldstein.

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