Girish Mahajan (Editor)

List of first female lawyers in the United States

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This is a listing of the first female attorneys in the United States and for each individual state. If available, there is also the year in which the women were admitted to practice law and an inclusion of the first attorneys who were women of color for each state.

Contents

Nationwide

  • Margaret Brent (1648) (First woman to act as an attorney in court)
  • Arabella Mansfield (1869) (First woman admitted to a state bar in the United States)
  • Charlotte E. Ray (1872) (First African-American female attorney in the United States)
  • Lyda Conley (1902) (First Native American female attorney in the United States)
  • Genevieve R. Cline (1928) (First woman appointed to the judiciary in the United States)
  • Elizabeth K. Ohi (1937) (First Japanese-American female attorney in the United States)
  • Claudia L. Gordon (c. 2000) (First deaf African-American female attorney in the United States)
  • Arsima A. Muller (2005) (First Marshallese female to be admitted to practice law in the United States)
  • Individual states

  • Alabama: Maud McLure Kelly (1908) (Alabama's first female lawyer); Mahala Ashley Dickerson (1948) (First African-American female attorney in Alabama)
  • Alaska: Mildred Hermann (1934) (Alaska's first female lawyer); Mahala Ashley Dickerson (1959) (First African-American female attorney in Alaska)
  • Arizona: Sarah Herring Sorin (1892) (Arizona's first female lawyer); Mary Estella Cota-Robles (1940) (First Hispanic woman admitted to Arizona Bar); Lisa Loo (2016) (First Asian-American woman admitted to Arizona Bar)
  • Arkansas: Sarah Shields (1918) (Arkansas' first female lawyer); Leona P. Thurman (1949) (First African-American woman to practice law in Kansas City)
  • California: Clara Shortridge Foltz (1878) (California's first female lawyer); Annie Coker (1929) (California's first African-American female attorney); Chiyoko Sakamoto (California's first Japanese-American female attorney); Emma Ping Lum (c. 1946) (The U.S. and California's first Chinese-American female attorney); Mary Virginia Orozco (1962) (California's first Latina female attorney); Eleanor Nisperos (1972) (California's first Filipina-American female attorney); Abby Abinanti (1974) (California's first Native American female attorney)
  • Colorado: Mary Sternberg Thomas (Colorado's first female lawyer); Josephine M. Luthe (1891); Betty Ann Camunez (First Hispanic woman admitted to the Colorado Bar)
  • Connecticut: Mary Hall (1882) (Connecticut's first female lawyer); Bessye Anita Warren Bennett (1974) (First African-American woman admitted to the Connecticut Bar)
  • Delaware: Evangilyn Barsky and Sybil Ward (1923) (Delaware's first female lawyers); Paulette Sullivan Moore (1977) (Delaware's first African-American female lawyer)
  • District of Columbia: Charlotte E. Ray (1872) (Also the first African-American woman to practice law in D.C. and the United States)
  • Florida: Louise R. Pinnell (1898) (Florida's first female lawyer); Gwen Cherry (1965) (First African-American woman to practice law in Dade County, Florida)
  • Georgia: Betty Reynolds Cobb and Mary C. Johnson (1916) (Georgia's first female lawyers); Rachel E. Pruden-Herndon (1942) (First African-American admitted to the Georgia Bar)
  • Hawaii: Alameda Eliza Hitchcock (1888) (Hawaii's first female lawyer); Sau Ung Loo Chan (1942) (First woman of Asian descent to practice law in Hawaii); Patsy Mink (1953) (First Japanese-American woman to practice law in Hawaii)
  • Idaho: Helen Young (1895) (Idaho's first female lawyer); Rei Kihara Osaki (1943) (First Japanese-American woman admitted to Idaho Bar); Ida Leggett (1986) (First African-American woman to practice law in Idaho)
  • Illinois: Alta M. Hulett (1873) (Illinois' first female lawyer); Myra Bradwell (She aimed to be the first woman admitted to the Illinois State Bar, but was denied); Ida Platt (First African-American admitted to practice law in Illinois)
  • Indiana: Elizabeth Eaglesfield (1875) (Indiana's first female lawyer); Helen Elsie Austin (1930) (First African-American woman admitted to the Indiana Bar)
  • Iowa: Arabella Mansfield (1869) (Iowa's first female lawyer); Gertrude Rush (1918) (First African-American female lawyer in Iowa)
  • Kansas: Jennie Mitchell Kellogg (Kansas' first female lawyer); Lutie Lytle (1897) (First African-American woman lawyer in Kansas)
  • Kentucky: Sophonisba Breckinridge (1895) (Kentucky's first female lawyer); Sally J. Seals White (She may have been the first African-American female lawyer in Kentucky)
  • Louisiana: Betty Runnells (1898) (Louisiana's first female lawyer); Mary Gloria Lawson (1956) (First African-American woman admitted to the Louisiana Bar)
  • Maine: Clara H. Nash (1872) (Maine's first female lawyer)
  • Maryland: Etta Haynie Madox (Maryland's first female lawyer); Jane Cleo Marshall Lucas (First known African-American woman admitted to practice law in Maryland)
  • Massachusetts: Leila Josephine Robinson (1882) (Massachusett's first female lawyer)
  • Michigan: Sarah Kilgore Wertman (1871) (Michigan's first female lawyer); Grace G. Costavas (Murphy) (1921) (First African-American female lawyer in Michigan)
  • Minnesota: Martha Angle Dorsett (1878) (Minnesota's first female lawyer); Lena O. Smith (1921) (First African-American woman to practice law in Minnesota); Ilean Her (First Hmong woman attorney to pass her Minnesota Bar exam)
  • Mississippi: Susie Blue Buchanan (1918) (Mississippi's first female lawyer); Marian Wright Edelman (First African-American admitted to Mississippi Bar)
  • Missouri: Lemma Barkaloo (1870) (Missouri's first female lawyer); Dorothy L. Freeman (1942) (First African-American female lawyer in St. Louis and Missouri)
  • Montana: Ella Knowles Haskell (1888) (Montana's first female lawyer); Mary Frances Garrigus (c. 1918) (First Native American woman admitted to practice law in Montana)
  • Nebraska: Ada Bittenbender (1882) (Nebraska's first female lawyer); Zanzye H.A. Hill (First African-American woman admitted to Nebraska Bar)
  • Nevada: Laura May Tilden Wilson (1893) (Nevada's first female lawyer); Felice Cohn (1902) (First Jewish woman to practice law in Nevada); Johnnie B. Rawlinson and Viveca Monet Woods (1980) (First African-American women admitted to practice law in Nevada)
  • New Hampshire: Marilla Ricker (1890) (New Hampshire's first female lawyer)
  • New Jersey: Mary Philbrook (1895) (New Jersey's first female lawyer)
  • New Mexico: Katherine Burns Mabry (New Mexico's first female lawyer); Carol Jean Vigil (First Pueblo woman admitted to practice law in New Mexico); Betty Ann Camunez (First Hispanic woman admitted to the New Mexico Bar)
  • New York: Kate Stoneman (1886) (New York's first female lawyer); Irma Vidal Santaella (First Puerto Rican woman admitted to practice law in New York)
  • North Carolina: Tabitha Ann Holton (1878) (North Carolina's first female lawyer); Elreta Melton Alexander-Ralston (First African-American woman lawyer and judge in North Carolina)
  • North Dakota: Helen Hamilton (c. 1925) (North Dakota's first female lawyer)
  • Ohio: Nettie Cronise Lutes (1873) (Ohio's first female lawyer); Daisy D. Perkins (1919) (First African-American woman admitted to the Ohio Bar); Hazel M. Walker (First African-American woman lawyer in Ohio)
  • Oklahoma: Laura Lykins (1898) (Oklahoma's first female lawyer)
  • Oregon: Mary Leonard (1885) (Oregon's first female lawyer); Mercedes Deiz (1960) (First African-American woman lawyer in Oregon)
  • Pennsylvania: Caroline Burnham Kilgore (1883) (Pennsylvania's first female lawyer); Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1927) (First African-American female lawyer in Pennsylvania); Mari Carmen Aponte (First Latina lawyer of Puerto Rican descent in Pennsylvania)
  • Rhode Island: Ada Lewis Sawyer (1920) (Rhode Island's first female lawyer)
  • South Carolina: James Perry (1918) (South Carolina's first female lawyer); Cassandra E. Maxwell (1938) (First African-American woman lawyer in South Carolina)
  • South Dakota: Blanche Coleman (1911) (South Dakota's first female lawyer)
  • Tennessee: Marian Griffin (1907) (Tennessee's first female lawyer); Lutie Lytle (1897) (First African-American woman lawyer in Tennessee)
  • Texas: Hortense Sparks Ward (1910) (Texas' first female lawyer); Charlye O. Farris (1953) (First African-American female lawyer in Texas); Edna Cisneros (1955) (First Hispanic woman to be licensed to practice in Texas)
  • Utah: Phoebe Couzins (1872) (Utah's first female lawyer); Eunice Chen (1973) (First Asian-American female admitted to the Utah Bar); Mary Ellen Sloan (1975) (First Native American female admitted to the Utah Bar); Denise M. Mercherson (1979) (First African-American female admitted to the Utah Bar); Frances M. Palacios (1980) (First Hispanic female admitted to the Utah Bar)
  • Vermont: Jessie Bigwood (1902) (Vermont's first female lawyer)
  • Virginia: Belva Ann Lockwood (1892) (Virginia's first female lawyer); Lavina Marian Fleming-Poe (1924) (First African-American woman lawyer in Virginia)
  • Washington: Mary Leonard (1885) (Washington's first female lawyer); Dolores Sibonga (1973) (First Filipina-American female to practice law in Washington)
  • West Virginia: Agnes Westbrook Morrison (1895) (West Virginia's first female lawyer)
  • Wisconsin: Lavinia Goodell (1874) (Wisconsin's first female lawyer); Mabel Watson Raimey (First African-American female lawyer in Milwaukee and Wisconsin)
  • Wyoming: Grace Raymond Hebard (1898) (Wyoming's first female lawyer)
  • References

    List of first female lawyers in the United States Wikipedia


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