NEW ORLEANS – One family is making academic history, being the first family to have three generations of female lawyers graduate from Loyola University’s Law School.
Grandmother Mary Petruccelli was in the first class of female lawyers to graduate from Loyola, with only five females in a class of 80 students. She was also the first practicing female lawyer in St. Bernard Parish.
Her daughter, Tracy Petruccelli, works at the same law firm she does. Now, they’ll be joined by granddaughter Kristen Pouey, who received her degree Saturday.
Mary said she saw many things that were different when she watched her grandchild walk across the stage.
“Now there are probably more women than men, or at least an equal amount,” she said. “I’m just proud we’re in the legal profession, that women have made such an advancement. It’s a wonderful thing as a woman to compete in a man’s traditional field and be successful in it.”
All three women said a large part of their career choice was getting the chance to help others.
“It’s evident that she was able to observe how much joy it is to help other people,” Tracy said. I think it shows that not only are we as women ready, but the world is ready to have us come in and make change, be the vehicle for change in our society while still having the empathy for those who really need our help.”
Both mother and granddaughter presented the degree to Kristen onstage during the ceremony, which marked the 100th class to graduate from Loyola’s law school.
“It was incredibly special because I feel like I only have the diploma because of them,” Kristen said. “Just having the two of them pave the way for me I think that they were the ones who ensured I could get the diploma in the first place.”
All three said they can’t wait for Kristen to join the firm.
“We used to double team them, now we're going to triple team,” laughed Mary.