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30 William Mitchell Law Review 9 (2003)


Rosalie Wahl holds a special place in the hearts of Minnesota lawyers. Many women and girls, especially, were gratified when Governor Rudy Perpich appointed her the first woman on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1977. There were no more than nine other women on supreme courts around the country at the time, and none on the U.S. Supreme Court. She served on the court until 1994, when the law mandating judges’ retirement at age seventy caused her to step down from the bench. This essay highlights the significance of Wahl’s work as a clinical legal educator and activist for legal education. It begins with a brief account of Wahl’s growth into her work as a lawyer. The article then focuses on her time as a clinical law teacher and, later, as a leader in the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. It closes with thoughts about what Wahl’s example means for law teachers.