Fall 1999

A Message from the Dean

A Discourse on Constitutional Law
The Journey of a Journal
On History and Heritage: John K. Castle
In Defense and Celebration of the First Amendment

Public Service at the Forefront
Lindback Adwardee: Bruce H. Mann
Snippets of History (1915 - 1951)
Celebrations: Alumni Reunion and Commencment

Symposium
Faculty Notes
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam

Penn Law

For example, commenting on a recent unusual case in which a school teacher would not allow a first-grader to read a Bible story aloud to class as his "favorite story," Coleman says, "I think that's a straw-man issue. There is an enormous amount of prayer in school - kids can rally around the flagpole, people can pray quietly at their desks, small groups of people can pray as long as they don't harass and oppress other students. At the ADL, we're talking about school-sponsored prayer and religion."

For the former CEO of Maidenform, a family-owned corporation, the leap from undergarments to civil rights may seem odd, but Coleman says it isn't really. Coleman has been practicing law for 25 years, both with her husband, Robert Stroup L'74, in Atlanta, and as a public interest and poverty-law advocate with Atlanta Legal Aid and the Georgia Legal Services Program. "This [the ADL] is a wonderful combination of my public law background and management background," she explains.

Stroup now works as a plaintiff's employment discrimination attorney with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard in New York. The couple has two grown children, Rachel, just graduated from Wesleyan University, and Matthew, still in college at Brown. As a lawyer who successfully balances the demands between her career and family, Coleman notes "My mother worked outside the home, both my grandmothers worked outside the home, and my husband's mother and female ancestors all worked - they were farmers - so it was never an issue for me." She had her first child relatively early - a year and a half out of law school - and Bob was "unbelievably supportive, splitting the raising of their children fifty-fifty.

Her outside interests include playing classical guitar in a guitar/mandolin duo and serving as chair of the National Women's Law Center, where fellow Penn Law alumna Marcia Greenberger L'70 serves as president. And though Coleman's family remains her first priority - "that can never change" - now that the children are grown, she enjoys not having to rush home at the end of the day. "It's exciting to feel that I can work as long as I want to. My work is important and endlessly fascinating. I think there's a primacy of the First Amendment that we can't lose sight of, and we too often play fast and loose with it, both in terms of religious freedom and free speech."



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