Sheli Rosenberg, 32, is the only woman in the country to head a legal group comprised of both men and women—the 1,500-member Chicago Council of Lawyers. But though she is, as well, attorney for a planned feminist-oriented magazine, Woman NEWS, and has led the lawyers’ council in support of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, she is pleased to remain something of a homebody. A partner in a prestigious Loop firm where she handles real estate law, Ms. Rosenberg works two days a week at home in suburban Highland Park to be with her children, Lenny, 7, and Marci, 5. “You might say I’m a full-time lawyer with several different offices,” she rationalizes. She met her husband Burton, also a lawyer, in class at Northwestern Law School, and the couple were married after their first year there. “Equal employment for women is not a fair issue until we come to grips with the problems of motherhood,” says the diversified Sheli Rosenberg.
U.W. Clemon—the initials are themselves his first name—is more than a strong contender for a seat in the first Alabama state senate since Reconstruction which is virtually certain to include blacks. He is running without serious opposition. This singular courtesy extended to a black by Birmingham Democrats is in part an apology for their refusal two years ago to appoint Clemon to fill a city council seat vacated by a death—despite the fact that he had earlier placed fourth in a close race for three council positions up for grabs.
But the main reason is Clemon himself, who grew up the hungry son of a part-time steelworker in rough West Birmingham—the district he will represent—and went on to become a highly skilled lawyer. Despite poor high school grades, Clemon impressed instructors at Miles College enough to win a scholarship and was graduated with distinction. He went on to Columbia University Law School, returning with top honors to hang out his shingle in Birmingham. “I’m here because it’s home,” explains Clemon, whose brilliance in job discrimination cases has brought him flattering offers elsewhere. He has turned them all down. The senate job will give Clemon, 31 years old, a crack at loftier state offices but again it’s first things first: “If I had to choose between being a politician and being a lawyer, I’d be a lawyer. I feel I can do more this way.”