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SANDRA SMITH GANGLE grew up in post-World War II Brockton, Massachusetts, a blue-collar city with many shoe factories and crowded neighborhoods where mostly first-generation American workers resided in three-decker tenement houses. Sandra’s mother coped with discrimination in employment, housing, banking—even domestic relations court proceedings where the judges and lawyers were all men.


SANDRA observed court trials on several occasions. She made a commitment to become a lawyer and make things better for women.


SANDRA’s high school counselor discouraged her from becoming a lawyer, so she chose to become a foreign language teacher. She taught French in Brockton, then travelled to Eugene, Oregon, when the University of Oregon offered a teaching assistantship and an M.A. degree.


SANDRA then taught French language and literature at Oregon State University and Willamette University. She taught survival English to Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. She married GENE GANGLE, an Oregon high school teacher and became mother of Melanie and Rocky.


Finally, at age 34, SANDRA matriculated at Willamette University College of Law, emphasizing labor and employment as well as land use law. She served as clerk/intern with Professor CARLTON SNOW, an established labor arbitrator, and obtained practical legal experience at the BLAIR & McDONALD law firm. After passing the Bar, she opened her own private law practice, then later became partner with ALBERT DEPENBROCK in a small law firm.


In MADAM ARBITRATOR, Sandra explains how she balanced motherhood and a legal career, then became a full-time labor arbitrator for many years, retiring at age 74. 

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