Hillary Rodham Clinton receives Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School
Rodham then entered Yale Law School, where she served on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action.
During her second year, she worked at the Yale Child Study Center, learning about new research on early childhood brain development and working as a research assistant on the seminal work, Beyond the Best Interests of the Child (1973). She also took on cases of child abuse at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and volunteered at New Haven Legal Services to provide free legal advice for the poor. In the summer of 1970, she was awarded a grant to work at Marian Wright Edelman's Washington Research Project, where she was assigned to Senator Walter Mondale's Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. There she researched migrant workers' problems in housing, sanitation, health and education. Edelman later became a significant mentor. She was recruited by political advisor Anne Wexler to work on the 1970 campaign of Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Duffey, with Rodham later crediting Wexler with providing her first job in politics.
In the late spring of 1971, she began dating Bill Clinton, also a law student at Yale. That summer, she interned at the Oakland, California, law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein. The firm was well-known for its support of constitutional rights, civil liberties, and radical causes (two of its four partners were current or former Communist Party members); Rodham worked on child custody and other cases.[nb 2] Clinton canceled his original summer plans, in order to live with her in California; the couple continued living together in New Haven when they returned to law school. The following summer, Rodham and Clinton campaigned in Texas for unsuccessful 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. She received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973, having stayed on an extra year in order to be with Clinton. Clinton first proposed marriage to her following graduation, but she declined. She began a year of postgraduate study on children and medicine at the Yale Child Study Center. Her first scholarly article, "Children Under the Law", was published in the Harvard Educational Review in late 1973. Discussing the new children's rights movement, it stated that "child citizens" were "powerless individuals" and argued that children should not be considered equally incompetent from birth to attaining legal age, but that rather courts should presume competence except when there is evidence otherwise, on a case-by-case basis. The article became frequently cited in the field.
In 1969, she attended Yale law school, where she was one of only 27 women among 235 law students. On May 7, 1970, she addressed the League of Women Voters in Washington, a sign of her growing prominence. Always active in campus politics, she ended up becoming something of a communications facilitator, as she had been at Wellesley, between potentially radical student elements and the college administration during the era of extreme student unrest in 1970. She was written up on hometown and New England newspapers, and was interviewed on Irv Kupcinet's nationally syndicated TV talk show from Chicago. That summer, she worked in Washington for Marian Wright Edelman's Washington Research Project, where she conducted research on migrant children's health and education difficulties, especially in the South. Her subsequent studies at Yale were concentrated on how the law affected children. At Yale in 1971, she met Bill Clinton, her future husband, also a law student at Yale.
She graduated from Yale Law School (JD 1973) a year later than necessary, having remained an extra year to be near Bill. As a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund, she specialized in children's advocacy law. She married Bill on October 11, 1975; daughter Chelsea was born in 1980. As her husband built a political career in Arkansas as governor, she was a partner in the locally prestigious Rose Law Firm, 1976-1992. Nationally she continued her legal advocacy for children and chaired the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, which played a pioneering role in raising awareness of issues like sexual harassment and equal pay.