Lancaster County mother, daughters win admission to U.S. Supreme Court bar

Shelby White//March 1, 2018

Lancaster County mother, daughters win admission to U.S. Supreme Court bar

Shelby White//March 1, 2018

Her mother and her sister are also lawyers, and Kowalski figured it would be cool for all three to join the bar together. In the interim Kowalski moved back to Lancaster and is now an associate attorney at Barley Snyder.

The three women eventually won approval to argue before the Supreme Court on Feb. 20, but not before an unexpected question based on their last names.

Kowalski’s mother is Robin Jabour, a partner at Atlee Hall law firm in Lancaster. Kowalski’s sister, Melissa Jabour, is an associate attorney at Atlee Hall.

“We were lined up to enter the courtroom before it was supposed to start, and a guard was looking at the list of names,” said Melissa Jabour. “Obviously my mom and I have the same last name, and the guard asked if we were mother and daughter. We told her yes, and then my mom pointed at my sister Amanda and said, ‘Actually, that’s my other daughter. She just has a different last name because she’s married.’ The guard said that she had been there for five years and had never seen a mother and two daughters. She said there was one time she saw a father and two sons.”

Applying to the Supreme Court bar wasn’t something Melissa Jabour thought she would ever do.

“It’s something that my sister really wanted to do and thought it would be cool if all three us got together and had a girl power moment, if you will,” Melissa said.

Amanda always knew that she wanted to be a lawyer, her sister said.

“My mom went to law school when we were little. I remember as she was doing her school work, my sister would sit next to her and pretend that she was highlighting things,” Melissa said.

Melissa, however, wanted to avoid the legal profession.

“I didn’t want to feel like I was copying my mom and my sister, but my junior year of college, I finally admitted to them that I was going to go to law school. They said that they knew it all along,” Melissa said.

Now, she and her mother work together at Atlee Hall, and Melissa loves it.

“You have a best friend immediately, and because she’s been doing this for so long, she’s the person that you can go to with all of your stupid questions instead of going to your boss and asking something ridiculous,” Melissa said.

Applying to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar was a formality. None of the three are expecting to take a case to the Supreme Court anytime soon.

In fact, a majority of attorneys admitted to the Supreme Court bar will never argue before the court, as justices take only about 80 cases per year. In order to be admitted, a lawyer must be a member of his or her state’s bar for three years, get the signatures of two other Supreme Court bar members and pay a one-time fee of $200.