Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Mary Cynthia Dunlap


Mary C. Dunlap attended Boalt Hall law school in the 1960s. After law school she joined Nancy Davis and Wendy Webster Williams, and with the help of a Carnegie grant founded Davis, Dunlap and Williams, a nonprofit law firm called Equal Rights Advocates "devoted to reforming gender-based laws and practices and teaching a clinical program for Stanford law students." The firm partners developed a Women and the Law course which they co-taught at the University of San Francisco, University of Santa Clara, Golden Gate University, and at Stanford.

Mary Dunlap was also a poet.

After the partners in Equal Rights Advocates went their separate ways, Mary Dunlap continued "teaching, speaking, and litigating . . . for social justice. She developed a sexual orientation class that she taught at several Bay Area law schools. She represented an air traffic controller discharged from the military because of her sexual orientation; a pregnant school teacher who was sent home on mandatory maternity leave . . .; a Boalt Hall professor in her sex discrimination case for denial of tenure; women seeking to be firefighters in the San Francisco Fire Department; and the Gay Olympic Games in its fight to keep the word 'Olympics' in its name. She continued to write—law review articles, poetry, a memoir. She took a few years away from law to paint, write, and address, with her characteristic honesty and intensity, the psychological consequences of her childhood abuse." [Wendy Webster Williams, The Gifts of Mary Dunlap (1949-2003), 19 Berkeley Women's L.J. 12 (2004)]


Mary C. Dunlap, Untitled Poem, 19 Berkeley Women's L.J. 2 (2004)

____________, Waves (Poem), 19 Berkeley Women's L.J. 6 (2004)

____________, An Interruption to Answer the Death-Death Drumbeat Planted in My Head by Well-Meaning "Western Med" (Poem), 19 Berkeley Women's L. J. 11 (2004)

____________, Choosing to Empahtize (Poem), 19 Berkeley Women's L.J. 17 (2004)


Mary C. Dunlap, Sex Discrimination in Employment: Application of Title VII (Santa Cruz, California: Community Law Reports, 1975)

Mary C. Dunlap & LeAnna Gipson, Opening Statements: A Basic Trial Advocacy Skills Series for Legal Services Advocates (Washington, D.C.: Advocacy Training and Development Unit, Legal Services Corp., 1981)

Mary C. Dunlap, OCC Special Report: Performance and Productivity as to Complaint Caseload (San Francisco: [Office of Civilian Complaints?], 1999)

____________, Allegations of Discriminatory Law Enforcement Against SFPD Officers: A Need for Further Information (San Francisco: [Office of Civilian Complaints?], 1999)

Writings: Articles

Mary C. Dunlap,  Gay Men and Lesbians Down by Law in the 1990's USA: The Continuing Toll of Bowers v. Hardwick, 24 Golden Gate U.L. Rev. 1 (1994)

____________,  Are We Integrated Yet? Pursuing the Complex Question of Values, Demographics and Personalities, 29 U.S.F.L. Rev. 693 (1995)


Patricia A. Cain, "The Right to Be Sexual" (Revisited): Remembering Mary Dunlap, 19 Berkeley's Women's L.J. 19 (2004)

David B. Cruz, A Real "People" Person, 19 Berkeley's Women's L.J. 7 (2004)

Herma Hill Kay, Remembering Mary Dunlap as a Student, 19 Berkeley Women's L.J. 3 (2004)

Wendy Webster Williams, The Gifts of Mary Dunlap (1949-2003), 19 Berkeley Women's L.J. 12 (2004)