Janice Goodman

b. August 14, 1935

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Janice Goodman until we are able to commission a full entry.

Janice Goodman with Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Leader Victoria Gray Adams at the 1988 Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Reunion.
Courtesy of Janice Goodman.

Janice Goodman’s work on civil rights issues drove her to become a lawyer, arguing class action cases for women’s rights. She knew she wanted to be an activist from a young age. In college, she became involved in Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). After college she struggled to find a job that would accept women that suited her aspirations, so she eventually learned to type and became an assistant to various political organizations, working with Hubert Humphrey in 1962. She then worked with Black women establishing Girl Scout troops in Black communities, a program that taught women how to organize. Goodman participated in Congress of Racial Equality events before volunteering for Freedom Summer in 1964. She then joined the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in bringing depositions to the House of Representatives saying the 1964 congressional elections were unconstitutional because African Americans had been barred from voting. She cofounded the first Women and the Law Committee at NYU Law School in 1970, which secured women’s inclusion in the prestigious Root-Tilden Scholarship. She went on to cofound the first feminist law firm in 1973. She served as lead or co-counsel on class actions that included NOW v WABC, an action to revoke WABC’s broadcasting license for its failure to hire women in professional or union positions. At the Center for Constitutional Rights, she brought a number of pre-Roe v Wade cases challenging abortion laws in New York and New Jersey. She was appointed by New York Governor Cuomo to his task force on sexual harassment and taught courses on employment discrimination. She is a fellow emeritus of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. In her later years she was in private practice, focusing on discrimination cases against women and minorities. As of 2023 she is retired. 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Janice Goodman." (Viewed on May 18, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/goodman-janice>.