Arabella Mansfield (1846–1911) First female lawyer in the United States.
On International Women’s Day, let’s take a moment to remember the female lawyers who made U.S. history as firsts in their field.
We’ve limited the list to those women who are no longer with us, with one notable exception.
First woman lawyer to emigrate to America and appear in the court of the common law.
First woman in the United States appointed to a judicial position.
First woman allowed to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
First American woman to attend law school (Washington University) and try a case in an American court.
First female lawyer in the United States.
First American woman to graduate from law school (now Northwestern University School of Law).
First black female lawyer in the United States.
First woman appointed to a federal court (U.S. Customs Court).
First woman to serve as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.
Harriet Spiller Daggett
First female full-time member of a law faculty in the United States.
Constance Baker Motley
First black woman to serve as a federal judge.
Grace Hays Riley
First dean of an American Bar Association-accredited law school, (American University Washington College of Law)
Barbara Charline Jordan
Civil rights activist. First Southern black woman elected to U.S. Senate.
Sandra Day O’Connor
First female U.S. Supreme Court justice.
First female U.S. Attorney General.