Jill Wine-Banks was barely 30 when she became an assistant Watergate special prosecutor investigating President Richard M. Nixon. In Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President, Wine-Banks (who was then known as Jill Wine Volner) shares her experience battling political obstruction, courtroom legal wrangling and the era’s sexism. Though she’d originally attended law school with the thought it would help her become a hard-news journalist, she found herself instead under the microscope of a ravenous press that dubbed her “the mini-skirted lawyer.”
Her memoir, which has been optioned by actress Katie Holmes’ production company to be made into a feature film, concentrates on her time in the Watergate special prosecution. She candidly shares not only the work the team was doing behind the scenes but also the difficult time she was having with her marriage and personal life.
In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Wine-Banks and the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles discuss her winding career path, which also led her to becoming the first female general counsel of the U.S. Army and the first woman to be hired as the executive director and COO of the American Bar Association.