Historical Profile: Miriam Lashley ’44

1944 Yale Law Journal staff with Editor-in-Chief Miriam Lashley
Miriam Lashley ’44 was the first female editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.
branding for bicentennial

Miriam Lashley ’44 was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She studied political science at Wellesley College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Durant scholar, and graduated with honors in 1942. After college, Lashley went on to enroll in Yale Law School, where she became the first female editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. Her studies were fast-tracked due to World War II, and she graduated with honors in 1944.

After graduation, Lashley was an attorney in the Appellate Division of the Tax Section of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and then a staff assistant for the American Red Cross in France and Germany. In 1947, she joined the University of Tulsa faculty as a lecturer in the school’s political science department and worked in her family’s law firm. She went on to work for the legal department of Sinclair Oil & Gas Company in 1950, and was later appointed Head of Research for the Business and Technical Department of the Tulsa City-County Library in 1960.

Lashley was recognized by the American Bar Association in 1954 for winning the annual Ross Prize Essay Contest on “The Investigating Power of Congress, Its Scope and Limitations.” She was later disqualified for exceeding the contest’s word limit. She was also a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and The Order of the Coif. In 1959, her article “Membership Drive Going Into High Gear” appeared in the Women Lawyers Journal, reporting on the push for additional National Association of Women Lawyers membership in Michigan led by labor law attorney Anne R. Davidow.

Lashley died in 1974 at the age of 53 after a brief illness. At the time of her passing, she was serving as the Director of Legal Services for the Allegheny Power Service Corporation and residing in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.