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Without PrecedentThe Life of Susie Marshall Sharp$
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Anna R. Hayes

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832141

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807887813_hayes

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False Start

False Start

(p.55) Chapter 4 False Start
Without Precedent

Anna R. Hayes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how James Sharp intended for his daughter Susie to become his equal in the law practice. James wasted no time in ordering a new “Sharp & Sharp” letterhead and adding “Miss Susie Sharp” to his standard ad in the newspaper. Despite his determined equanimity, however, such an attitude toward women in the workplace was by any measure exceptional. At the time, even the secretaries of important persons were male, as of course were nearly all important persons. In the United States, the percentage of lawyers who were women nearly doubled between 1910 and 1930, the year after Susie first entered practice, but this remarkable increase merely brought the figure from 1.1 to 2.1 percent. The numbers were even lower in North Carolina, where women in the legal profession were virtually invisible.

Keywords:   Jim Sharp, Sharp & Sharp, Miss Susie Sharp, equanimity, North Carolina, legal profession

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