March Madness (3/7/2018)-Hillary Clinton vs. Charlotte Ray

Today’s head-to-head is between Hilary Clinton and Charlotte Ray. Hilary Clinton was the first woman nominated for President by a major political party, and Charlotte Ray was the first female African American lawyer. Which woman inspires you the most? You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk.  Happy voting!

Hillary Clinton-“Let’s continue to stand up for those who are vulnerable to being left out or marginalized.”

Image via Wikipedia.

Despite being a part an otherwise traditional family, Hillary Clinton was raised by her parents to be independent, smart, and to not be limited by her gender. She worked on several presidential campaigns along with other political campaigns before and after she attended Yale Law School. After Yale, she moved to Arkansas and started to advocate for children’s rights and for women’s rights. In Fayetteville, she helped start the city’s first rape crisis center. She helped her husband get elected Arkansas Governor while also continuing to practice law at a prestigious Arkansas law firm. In 1979, she became a partner. From then until Bill became President in 1993, her income was greater than that of her husband’s. During Bill’s tenure as President of the United States, Hillary was an integral part of U.S politics and policy. Hillary Clinton was also the first First Lady to have a post-graduate degree and the first First lady to have her own professional career prior to entering the White House. In 2000, Hillary was elected one of the two Senators from New York, where she remained until 2008 when she ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. She lost that year to Barack Obama, but she was named President Obama’s Secretary of State during his first term in office. She ran again for the Democratic Nomination in 2016, when she became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major Political party. Despite winning the nations popular vote, she lost in the Electoral College and did not win that political campaign. Afterwards, Hillary continued to dedicate her time and efforts to politics and advocating for the public.

Charlotte E. Ray-“I am determined to persevere.”

Image via

Charlotte Ray was accepted to teach in District of Columbia’s Howard University after college, but Charlotte wished to be lawyer. Because Howard University discouraged women to apply, Charlotte applied under the name “C.E. Ray” to disguise her gender and was accepted into the university’s law school in 1969. After three years of study and specialization in Commercial law, Charlotte became the first woman to graduate from Howard University in 1872, the first African American to obtain a law degree, and shortly after became the first woman to be admitted into the District of Colombia bar. Unfortunately, she was unable to sustain a private practice and settled back in New York, becoming a teacher and marrying.

Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right. 

Author: Alyson Drake

Alyson Drake is the Assistant Director for Public Services and the Director of the Excellence in Legal Research Program at Texas Tech University Law School, where she also teaches courses in Texas Legal Research, and Foreign, Comparative, and International Legal Research and administers the Legal Practice Program's research workshops. She blogs at

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