The Career of Sandra Day O'Connor

Thirty Years Since America's First Female Justice Joined The Supreme Court

The Graduate
Scholastic success would come to define Sandra Day O'Connor; she finished high school at age 16, and graduated magna cum laude from Stanford University with a degree in Economics in 1950. Pictured here in her 1950 Stanford graduation photo, O'Connor went on to receive a law degree from Stanford, where she served as an editor of the Stanford Law Review and graduated third in her class, behind valedictorian and future colleague William Rehnquist. Despite her academic strength, she found it difficult to secure a job with any of California's Law firms, who declined to hire her because she was a woman. She took a position as a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, but having met her husband John O'Connor at Stanford, she soon abandoned the position, moving to Germany with him where they both served as attorneys while her husband completed his army service.

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