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Belva Lockwood

The First Female Lawyer in the United States

In honor of Women’s History Month, Russo Law Group, P.C. wanted to take you back to the 1800s…

Belva Lockwood was an American lawyer and women’s rights advocate who made history by becoming the first female lawyer to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Born in 1830, Belva grew up in a rural area of New York State where she had limited access to formal education. Despite this, she taught herself law and eventually passed the bar exam in 1879, becoming the first woman to do so.

In 1880, Belva was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court and argued a case there that same year. This legal milestone opened new doors for women in the field of law and set an example of what could be achieved if one had tenacity, determination, and the courage to challenge existing norms.

Belva was a pioneer in her field and an advocate for women’s rights throughout her career, spearheading various causes related to equality. She was a vocal supporter of suffrage and equal pay, as well as property rights for married women. Belva also founded the Women’s National Press Association, which sought to fight workplace discrimination against women.

Belva Lockwood 1915
Belva Lockwood 1915

In her later life, Belva continued to be an advocate for female lawyers and attended the International Council of Women in Washington, DC. She also wrote several books on legal subjects and lectured on issues related to voting rights and equal access to education. In addition, she published a bi-monthly magazine titled The Woman’s National Daily.

Belva Lockwood was a trailblazer in the field of law, paving the way for future generations of female lawyers and advocating for women’s rights throughout her career. Her legacy is still felt today, inspiring people to strive for excellence and challenge existing norms. She is an inspiring figure, and her story is a reminder to never stop fighting for what’s right.

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