In Memoriam: Barbara Allen Babcock, 1938-2020

Barbara A. Babcock, the Judge John Crown Professor of Law, Emerita at Stanford University, died on April 15 at her home in Stanford, California. She was 81 years old and had suffered from cancer.

A native of Washington, DC., Professor Babcock grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and went on to earn a juris doctorate at Yale Law School. She then clerked for Judge Henry Edgerton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then became an associate at the criminal defense firm Williams & Connolly.

In 1966, Babcock joined a pilot project established by the District of Columbia to deliver legal defense services to the poor. In 1968, she was appointed the first director of D.C.’s newly named Public Defender Service.

Professor Babcock joined the faculty at Stanford Law School in 1972. She was the first woman to serve on the faculty at the law school. Professor Babcock was honored by the graduating class of the law school four times with the John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor Babcock was the author of the book Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz (Stanford University Press, 2011).. Foltz was a late 19th- and early 20th- century lawyer, public intellectual, leader of the women’s movement, public defender and legal reformer.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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