FIRST ANNUAL SESSION OF THE WOMEN LAWYERS' ASSOCIATION - AUGUST 28, 1923

    NAWL Convention_1923 w Chief Justice Taft.jpg

    Seated to the right of Chief Justice, former President, WIlliam Howard Taft, is Emilie Bullowa, President of NAWL 1923-24,
    as well as Judge Mary O'Toole of Washington, D.C., Customs Court Judge Genevieve Cline, N.Y. and Phoebe Munnecke of Michigan.

     

    Timeline | NAWL Presidents


    Timeline of Important Events

    Arabella Babb Mansfield.jpg
    Arabella Babb Mansfield
    (Image courtesy of the Belle Babb Mansfield Memorial)

    1869

              

     Arabella Babb Mansfield became the first American woman lawyer admitted to the bar.

    1872

    Charlotte E. Ray became the first African-America woman lawyer admitted to the bar.

    1879

    Belva A. Lockwood became the first woman lawyer admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Charlotte E Ray.jpgCharlotte E. Ray
    (Image courtesy of Black Entertainment Television)

                                                                                                          

    1899

    The Women Lawyers' Club was founded by a group of 18 women lawyers in New York City.

    1911 

    The first issue of the Women Lawyers Journal was published (pdf).  It cost 15¢ per issue and had 25 subscribers. 

    1914 

    Membership in the Women Lawyers' Club grew to 170, with representation from 25 states.

    NAWL Suffragettes.jpg

    NAWL Suffragettes

     

     

     

     

    Long before women could vote,

    they became attorneys.™


                          

    Belva A Lockwood.jpg
    Belva A. Lockwood
    (Image courtesy of the U.S. National Archives)   

    1915

             

    Women's suffrage became the first major project undertaken by the Club.  Three time NAWL President, Olive Stott Gabriel, argued for women's voting rights across the county.

    1918

    Judge Mary Belle Grossman and Mary Florence Lathrop became the first two women lawyers admitted to the American Bar Association.

    1919

    Congress passed the 19th Amendment and the Women Lawyers' Club membership mobilized to work for ratification by the states.

    Mary Belle Grossman.jpgJudge Mary Belle Grossman
    (Image courtesy of ohiobio.org)

    During the first four decades of the Club (and later, the Association) worked consistently on social legislation - including child labor laws, minimum wage, divorce and marriage laws, the right for a woman to keep her name after marriage, and the right for women to serve on juries.

    1923

    Due to increasing nationwide membership, the Women Lawyers' Club became the National Association of Women Lawyers.

    NAWL held its first national convention in Minneapolis with Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

    Mary Florence Lathrop.jpg Mary Florence Lathrop
    (Image courtesy of American Bar Association)


    1934

    NAWL member Florence E. Allen of Ohio was appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Roosevelt and she became the nation's first woman federal judge and the
    highest-ranking woman jurist.

    1935

    NAWL was one of the first national organizations to endorse the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced to Congress in 1922.  The ERA becomes an ongoing high priority for the Association
    over the next several decades.

    1943

    NAWL became an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association.

    Florence E Allen.jpgFlorence E. Allen
    (Image courtesy of the Supreme Court of Ohio)


    NAWL led the creation of opportunities for women to serve in the military.  More than 150 NAWL members were serving in the WACS, WAVES, and the Marine Corps Women's Reserve.

    1945

    NAWL became an official NGO Observer of the newly-founded United Nations.

    1949

    The National Association of Women Lawyers celebrated its 50th Anniversary in St. Louis.

    Maguerite Rawalt.jpg
    Maguerite Rawalt
    (Image courtesy of American Bar Association) 

                                                                                                                        

    1952

    NAWL drafted the Uniform Divorce Bill, calling it "the greatest project NAWL has ever undertaken."

    1954

    The first NAWL office was established in the new ABA Center in Chicago.

    1961

    NAWL past president, Marguerite Rawalt, was appointed by President Kennedy to the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

    Sarah Hughes VP Johnson .jpg
    Sarah Hughes swearing in Vice President Johnson
    (Image courtesy of Cecil W. Stoughton)

     

     

     

     

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
    committed citizens can change the world. 
    Indeed, it is only thing that ever has."
    Margaret Mead

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg.jpg
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    (Image courtesy of Columbia Law)


    1965

                    

    NAWL member Lorna E. Lockwood became the first woman chief justice of any state.

    1972

    Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment.  The ratification of the amendment by the states became NAWL's major project for the rest of the decade.

    1974

    The Women Lawyers Journal carried a comprehensive review of the need to the Equal Rights Amendment written by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the first tenured woman law professor at Columbia University.

    Sandra Day OConnor.jpgSandra Day O'Connor
    (Image courtesy of CBS News)

    1981

    Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    1983

    Mahala Ashley Dickerson became the first African-American president of NAWL.

    1985

    NAWL began granting membership to male applicants.

    Juanita Kidd Stout.jpgJuanita Kidd Stout

     

    1988

    NAWL member, Juanita Kidd Stout, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, becoming the first African-American woman to serve on a state's highest court.

    1989

    The NAWL assembly endorsed the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

    1995

    Roberta Cooper Ramo was elected the first woman president of the American Bar Association.

    Martha Walters Barnett HOLLAND AND KNIGHT.jpg
    Martha W. Barnett
    (Image courtesy of Holland & Knight)

    1997

    NAWL member, Martha W. Barnett, became the first recipient of NAWL's highest honor, the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award.

    1999

    NAWL celebrated its Centennial Anniversary.

    2000

    The first Directory of Women Lawyers and Women Owned Law Firms was published.

    Sonia Sotomayor.jpgSonia Sotomayor
    (Image courtesy of NY Times)

    Sonia Sotomayor received the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award.

    2005

    NAWL's first Annual General Counsel Institute was held in New York City.

    2006

    NAWL published the first National Survey on the Retention and Promotion of Women in the Law.

    Elena Kagan US SUPREME COURT.jpg
    Elena Kagan
    (Image courtesy of US Supreme Court)

                                                                                               

    2008

    NAWL published the Summit Report Actions for Advancing Women into Law Firm Leadership.

    2009

    NAWL's independent Supreme Court Committee recommended the confirmation of Elena Kagan as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court.  

     2010

     

    NAWL holds regional meetings on the status of the Summit Report Actions for Advancing Women into Law Firm Leadership.

     2014

    NAWL introduces the NAWL Challenge Club

    Information gathered from NAWL's archives and the writings of Mary Zimmerman and Selma Moidel Smith 


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    NAWL Presidents

    Year of NAWL Presidency Name Location

    1899 - 1911

    Rosalie Loew

    New York, NY

    1911 - 1913

    Marion Weston Cottle

    New York, NY

    1913 - 1914

    Edith Julia Griswold

    New York, NY

    1914 - 1915

    Jean H. Norris

    New York, NY

    1915 - 1917

    Olive Stott Gabriel

    New York, NY

    1917 - 1918

    Sarah Stephenson

    New York, NY

    1918 - 1920

    Jean H. Norris

    New York, NY

    1920 - 1924

    Emilie M. Bullowa

    New York, NY

    1925 - 1927

    Rose Falls Bres

    Brooklyn, NY

    1927 -1930

    Katharine R. Pike


    Washington, D.C.

    1930 - 1934

    Olive Stott Gabriel

    New York, NY

    1934 - 1935

    Burnita Shelton Matthews

    Washington, D.C.

    1935 - 1938

    Percilla Lawyer Randolph

    Los Angeles, CA

    1938 - 1939

    Laura M. Berrien

    Washington, D.C.

    1939 - 1940

    Helen M. Cirese

    Chicago, IL

    1940 - 1941

    Florence Thacker Bradley

    Indianapolis, IN

    1941 - 1942

    Gertrude Harris

    Atlanta, GA

    1942 - 1943

    Marguerite Rawalt

    Corpus Christi, TX

    1943 - 1944

    Daphne Robert Leeds

    Washington, D.C.

    1944 - 1945

    Lula E. Bachman

    Michigan

    1945 - 1946

    Laura Miller Derry

    Louisville, KY

    1946 - 1947

    Adele I. Springer

    Brooklyn, NY

    1947 - 1949

    Charlotte E. Gauer

    Chicago, IL

    1949 - 1950

    Eleanor March Moody

    Boston, MA

    1950 - 1951

    J. Helen Slough

    Cleveland, OH

    1951 - 1952

    Mary H. Zimmerman

    Michigan

    1952 -1954

    Dorothea K. Blender

    Chicago, IL

    1954 - 1955

    Diana J. Auger

    Boston, MA

    1955 - 1956

    Victoria V. Gilbert

    Arkansas

    1956 - 1957

    Neva B. Talley

    Little Rock, AR

    1957 - 1958

    Grace B. Doering

    Cleveland, OH

    1958 - 1959

    Nina Miglionico

    Birmingham, AL

    1959 - 1960

    Maurine H. Abernathy

    Washington, D.C.

    1960 - 1961

    Rebecca Bowles Hawkins

    Birmingham, AL

    1961 - 1962

    Anna O. Blum

    Monroe, WI

    1962 - 1963

    Dorothy M. Orsini Jones

    Little Rock, AR

    1963 - 1964

    Catherine Anagnost

    Chicago, IL

    1964 - 1965

    Catherine Edmondson

    Clarksville, TN

    1965 - 1966

    Mattie Belle Davis

    Florida

    1966 - 1967

    Mary Louise DeMarco McLeod

    Michigan

    1967 - 1968

    Grace D. Cox

    New York, NY

    1968 - 1969

    Ruth Gentry Talley

    Louisiana

    1969 - 1970

    Jettie Pierce Selvig

    San Francisco, CA

    1970 - 1971

    Adele T. Weaver

    Miami Beach, FL

    1971 - 1972

    Jean McVeety

    Minneapolis, MN

    1972 - 1973

    NettaBell Girard Larson

    Wyoming

    1973 - 1974

    Helen Viney Porter

    Northbrook, IL

    1974 - 1975

    Marjorie M. Childs

    San Francisco, CA

    1975 - 1976

    Kathleen Ryan Dacey

    Boston, MA

    1976 - 1977

    Lee Berger Anderson

    North Chevy Chase, MD

    1977 - 1978

    Mary Alice Duffy

    Philadelphia, PA

    1978 - 1979

    Miriam G. Newman

    New York, NY

    1979 - 1980

    Sheila Gallagher

    Anchorage, AK

    1980 - 1981

    Ann W. Lake

    Boston, MA

    1981 - 1982

    Meredith P. Sparks

    Coral Gables, FL

    1982 - 1983

    Claire E. Morrison

    Detroit, MI

    1983 - 1984

    Mahala Ashley Dickerson

    Anchorage, AK

    1984 - 1985

    Mary Jo Cusack

    Columbus, OH

    1985 - 1986

    Virginia S. Mueller

    Sacremento, CA

    1986 - 1987

    Irene Redstone

    Miami, FL

    1987 - 1988

    Sylvia Marks-Barnett

    Oklahoma City, OK

    1988 - 1989

    Leona Beane

    New York, NY

    1989 - 1990

    Gail McKnight Beckman

    Atlanta, GA

    1990 - 1991

    Jeanne Schubert Barnum

    Cherry Hill, NJ

    1991 - 1992

    Janis L. Blough

    Lansing, MI

    1992 - 1993

    Veronica C. Boda

    Brigantine, NJ

    1993 - 1994

    Faith F. Driscoll

    Dedham, MA

    1994 - 1996

    Myrna S. Raeder

    Los Angeles, CA

    1996 - 1997

    Sally Lee Foley

    Bloomfield Hills, MI

    1997 - 1998

    Janice L. Sperow

    San Diego, CA

    1998 - 1999

    Susan Fox Gills

    Chicago, IL

    1999 - 2000

    Katherine J. Henry

    Washington, D.C.

    2000 - 2001

    Gail Sasnett-Stauffer

    Gainesville, FL

    2001 - 2002

    Elizabeth K. Bransdorfer

    Grand Rapids, MI

    2002 - 2003

    Ellen A. Pansky

    South Pasadena, CA

    2003 - 2004

    Zoe Sanders Nettles

    Columbia, SC

    2004 - 2005

    Stephanie Scharf

    Chicago, IL

    2005 - 2006

    Lorraine K. Koc

    Philadelphia, PA

    2006 - 2007

    Cathy Fleming

    New York, NY

    2007 - 2008

    Holly English

    Roseland, NJ

    2008 - 2009

    Lisa Horowitz

    Washington, D.C.

    2009 - 2010

    Lisa Gilford

    Los Angeles, CA

    2010 - 2011

    Dorian Denburg

    Atlanta, GA

    2011 - 2012

    Heather C. Giordanella

    Philadelphia, PA

    2012 - 2013

    Beth L. Kaufman

    New York, NY

    2013 - 2014

    Deborah S. Froling

    Washington, D.C.

    2014 - 2015

    Lisa M. Passante

    Philadelphia, PA

    2015 - 2016

    Marsha L. Anastasia

    Stamford, CT

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    National Association of Women Lawyers®

    American Bar Center MS 19.1, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 T: 312.988.6186 F: 312.932.6450 nawl@nawl.org