Judge Rita C. Davidson
Judge Rita C. Davison was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1928. She earned her undergraduate degree from Goucher College in 1948 and was one of less than a dozen women to graduate from Yale Law School in 1951.
After beginning her legal career with a law firm in Washington, D.C., Judge Davidson started her own practice in Rockville, Maryland, in 1963. From 1960-1964, she served as the vice-chair and chair of the Montgomery County Board of Appeals. And, in 1967 she served on the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In 1970, Judge Davidson became the first woman to serve in the Maryland Cabinet after Governor Mandel selected her as his Secretary of the Maryland Department of Employment and Social Services.
In another "first," Judge Davidson was the first women appointed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in 1972. She served on this court until 1979, when acting Governor Lee appointed her as the first women to serve on the Maryland Court of Appeals. She served on the Maryland Court of Appeals until 1984.