The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense



The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense probes the non-fictional accounts of women criminal defense lawyers. Set at a fictional symposium held during Women’s History Month, nine accomplished lawyers reveal the unique ways in which they experience criminal defense practice, the courtroom, and their relationships with clients. With detailed insight into their personal and professional lives, this book illuminates the vital role and immense contributions of women in the profession. Each page invites the reader to travel through moments of justice and injustice, sorrow and joy, and failure and success. The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense offers an intimate story of those who tirelessly represent people accused of crime.

The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense is published by NACDL Press, the publishing unit of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

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Meet Andrea D. Lyon

Throughout her decades-long career, Andrea has had to navigate a white man’s world, particularly that of the male-dominated criminal defense field.

As a 19-0 death penalty lawyer and the first woman to ever serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case, Andrea is perfectly situated to write her new book detailing the experiences of the women of the defense bar.

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"The Sixth Amendment guarantees those charged with crimes the right to effective assistance of counsel. The only lawyers recognized by the constitution are us. These are the stories of that part of that constitutional mandate that are women; the feminine Sixth."


Meet the Women of The Feminine Sixth


"The raw and honest window into the diverse and growing ranks of women who chose the noble path of standing beside and defending those accused of a crime is a very special book indeed."

- Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking