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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, January 21, 1986. Interview C-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Choosing to pursue a law degree

In this excerpt Everett explains her somewhat unorthodox decision, as a woman in the early twentieth century, to pursue a law career. Meeting a variety of worldly women during World War I inspired Everett, as did her father's career as a lawyer and her own education.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, January 21, 1986. Interview C-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

PAMELA DEAN:
I was asking you to think back when you had finished your two years of teaching and were thinking of what to do next. Why did you take such an unusual route in your life. You up until that point had been fairly typical, I think of women.
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
You mean as for law?
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes.
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
Well you see, it wasn't so strange to me. I'd grown up with the law. I liked people and I liked problems, and I liked helping people solve their problems.
PAMELA DEAN:
But as you said, most women could either teach, or nursing, or . . . .
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
Well I think maybe the war helped me decide. Because in Washington, I was in Washington a year and a half during the war and there til the close,-I met women from all over the world, very attractive people. There were a lot of women in England who were beginning to go do new things. We saw the first women smoking, for instance. We'd never seen women smoking before. We'd go to a certain Hotel because the English women were there and they'd all be smoking. I, several years later, was president of the N. C. Business and Professional Women's Clubs and Fayetteville local president, that wasn't started until 1919, though. But you saw women doing various things in Washington. My college also nurtured independent thought. I think it was the war, too, seeing that women could go out and could do things just as well as men. I think again my father's philosophy helped me some. He thought women had plenty of sense; if they used it, they could do what they wanted to. He believed women could get there if they wanted to.
PAMELA DEAN:
He sounded like even when you were young he took you seriously.
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
I beg your pardon.
PAMELA DEAN:
It sounds to me from what you were saying that even when you were young your father took you seriously.
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
I think he did. He really believed in you doing things which helped, and my aunt and the others. I had a sister who was very loving; she was like a second mother. She was three years older but she was a musician. She graduated in music and played organ and various things. She didn't want to do these other things and by choice was more a "home-body." But she believed that I could do it alright. I did have family support, which helps very much.