As a lawyer, Caroline Glassman fought for the rights of individuals who faced the awesome power of the state when they were charged with a crime.

As an appellate court judge she crafted opinions that shaped the law to protect the rights of defendants in our justice system.

But she will probably be best remembered for her work on behalf of a whole class of people, women in the legal profession, who benefitted from her trailblazing performance as the first female justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

There she was known for hard work, tenacious advocacy and penetrating intellect.

Her success made the gender of other nominees for the supreme and superior court almost unremarkable.

Glassman died Wednesday at the age of 90, leaving a lasting legacy on the state of Maine.

“She broke the glass ceiling on the bench with such style, grace and passion that she carved out a path for so many of us that followed,” said Maine’s Chief Justice Leigh Saufely. “Many of us have lost a good friend, and the world has lost a stalwart supporter of individual rights.”