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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Belief that ladylike behavior and legal skills are often not synonymous

Although Lake applauds North Carolina Chief Justice Susie Sharp for her incisive legal ability, he largely disapproves of women in the legal profession. He argues that the profession hampers women's femininity.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

I. BEVERLY LAKE:
...Incidentally, Chief Justice Sharp was an excellent Chief Justice, and earlier an Associate Justice. She and I, not infrequently, dissented from each other. But our companionship, on and off the court, was very pleasant. She had a remarkable ability for the law and, as I have told people frequently, I'm not personally--I can say this now since I'm retired from all active participation in anything--I'm not personally enthused about women lawyers because to put it somewhat rudely, I guess, I just don't like to see a sow's ear made out of a silk purse. [Laughter] But Chief Justice Sharp was a remarkably able lawyer, and tough, and one of the most delightful, cultured ladies one could ever see. You do not often find such a combination of virtues. Sometimes you do--now, she's not the only one. Judge Morris on the Court of Appeals was another one. Sometimes you find a woman who is both an excellent lawyer and a delightful, charming lady. But the two qualifications don't necessarily go together.