Louisiana Women: LSU Law Professor Lucy Bowers McGough

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BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) – Lucy Bowers McGough was a trailblazer for women in the law profession back in the 1960’s, and today she continues to push through barriers even during her retirement.

Lucy Bowers McGough is enjoying retirement at St. James Place in Baton Rouge.

“I’ve never spent a boring day in my life.”

She’s been retired for several years now, but still keeps her passion alive.

“I’m still teaching, but I only teach one course a semester. I can’t imagine. My students are just wonderful.”

It’s a passion that she never knew she had.

“I never wanted to be a lawyer. I just fell into it. Divine intervention.”

It was 1962. She was studying at Emery University in Atlanta, Georgia when she stumbled into the law building on campus.

“The dean said if your grades are what you say they are, I have one deans admit left, you can have it. School starts Monday.”

It was divine plan that would pave the way for women in the law school program for may years to come.

“I was the only one there that day. I felt like I always had to be prepared. I didn’t want to let the women that were in the classes behind me down, and I didn’t want to let the dean down either.”

McGough went on to graduate 4th her class.

After practicing law for 4 years she decided to get her masters degree.

The former lawyer became the first female faculty member at Emory University.

A colleague told McGough, “not unkindly though, it sounds unkind. He said ,you know why you got the chair’ and I said ‘because I’m a women’ and he said that’s right, and I said ‘I’m hooray for it. I’m so happy to be here’.”

She continued to break ceilings through out her career later becoming the first female chair at both Emory and LSU Law Schools.

“When you say a women was the first in doing something she owes that piece of her soul to the fact that she is a woman. Not as a handicap, but as a hands up.”

McGough still teaches law at LSU today while enjoying retirement.

“You adapt, in order to thrive you have to take what you got and go with it.”

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