We are the nation’s first and oldest legal defense and education fund for women.
Incorporated as a non-profit on March 16, 1970, we were started by the founders and earliest members of the National Organization of Women (NOW) to help eliminate sex discrimination through legal action and education. Called the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (NOW LDEF) until 2004, we have always been at the forefront of the unceasing, unheralded and often controversial battle for gender equality.
Our earliest board members included co-founders of both NOW and our organization, Betty Friedan, Muriel Fox, Sylvia Roberts, and Gene Boyer—who all continued to be on the front lines through our earliest legal action and projects. Many of those inaugural board members have gone on to other frontiers of women's rights such as Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Gabrielle McDonald, and Marilyn Hall Patel as Supreme Court and federal judges.