The Ladies' Health Protective Association: Law Lawyers and Urban Cause Lawyering

32 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2010

See all articles by Felice Batlan

Felice Batlan

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology

Date Written: December 1, 2008

Abstract

The Ladies Health Protective Association (LHPA) was a late-nineteenth century voluntary organization composed of a group of middle-class women. The women of the LHPA interacting with their environment, neighbors, the courts, private businesses and city and state officials had a significant impact in shaping a multitude of New York City laws and law had a profound affect in creating and molding the work and identity of the organization.

In fact, late nineteenth century middle-class women’s organization’s use of law and legal process may have been a particularly potent strategy. Although institutional legal spaces such as courtrooms and legislatures were male spaces, middle-class white women and law shared a number of characteristics. A separate spheres ideology viewed the home as women’s natural and appropriate sphere and the home and women became associated with virtue and purity. This was contrasted with a male sphere of the market and politics which was understood as being infused with self-interest and potential corruption. Thus the idealized white woman was like an idealized understanding of law -- virtuous, moral, and unsullied by self-interest. As the article explores, the LHPA astutely drew upon such tropes.

Keywords: Women, law, regulation, New York City, health, slaughterhouses, law, housekeeping, air, nuisance

Suggested Citation

Batlan, Felice, The Ladies' Health Protective Association: Law Lawyers and Urban Cause Lawyering (December 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1718727 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1718727

Felice Batlan (Contact Author)

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

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