Described by Time magazine as "one of the nation's most effective advocates of family rights and feminist causes," Gloria Allred is the most famous woman attorney practicing law in the nation today. With a legal career that started more than forty years ago, she is perhaps best known for her involvement in high-profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson trial, the Scott Peterson case, and the Britney Spears' custody battle. In addition to celebrity cases, she has won countless honors for her pioneering legal work on behalf of women’s rights and the rights of minorities. She is a founding partner of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, a law firm that handles controversial cases involving virtually every type of discrimination. On top of that, she founded and is currently President of the Women's Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund. A powerful media presence, she is a three-time Emmy nominee for her commentaries on KABC television in Los Angeles; and her nationally syndicated TV show, "We the People, with Gloria Allred," was nominated in 2012 for a Daytime Emmy Award.
After high school, she received a partial scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and qualified for the Honors-in-English program. However, to her chagrin, at Penn she found that she couldn't be a cheerleader because, at the time, only males could be cheerleaders for male events. During her sophomore year, she married another Penn student and became pregnant when she was only nineteen. Not wanting to leave school, she gave birth during her junior year. Due to her husband's mental issues, the couple divorced during her senior year, leaving her a single mother. A natural fighter, she moved back home with her parents and worked on completing her last year of college. In 1963, she earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in English. Or, as she has put it, she left Penn with "a diploma in one arm and a baby in the other."
Coming full circle, in 2006, she returned to her alma mater to deliver the Commencement speech with her firstborn daughter, Lisa Bloom. The following year, her granddaughter entered Penn as a freshman. That same year, the celebrity lawyer and alum was back on campus for the Leadership Lunches series, which is part of the university’s Fox Leadership Program. During the visit, she briefly retold her life story, took questions from the students and administrators present, and gave some bits of career advice along the way. Notably, this included her encouragement to "market yourselves at every opportunity." Furthermore, the renowned attorney paid tribute to Penn's contribution to her success, emphasizing how her education from the College of Arts and Sciences helped her career path, saying it was a "fabulous background" for any field.