America's First Female Lawyer

Editorial Content

Profile of Arabella Mansfield
2019 marks 150 years since Arabella Mansfield became the first woman lawyer admitted to a bar assocation in the United States. In light of this significant anniversary, this piece will tell Mansfield’s story – her upbringing; passing the bar exam in 1869 though it was then open only to white men 21 and older; subsequently challenging the law that excluded her and, with the court ruling that women could not be denied the right to practice law in Iowa, being admitted to the bar; and her lifelong support for equal rights for women – and explore the impact that her best-known achievement has had for women and minorities in the field of law and for the legal profession itself.
The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations
The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations (NCWBA) is an organization of women’s bar associations for women’s bar associations, and it represents approximately 35,000 women lawyers. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and inspiration for women in law practice. This article will describe the history of women establishing law associations of their own and how and why NCWBA entered into that landscape when it was established in 1981. Additionally, the piece will explore how NCWBA has developed and evolved since its founding and how it operates and serves its members today.
Member Histories - Past, Present, and Future
As an “association of associations,” NCWBA’s member are organizations with their own storied pasts. In their own words, NCWBA member organizations share their histories – how and when they came to be established, noteworthy leadership and achievements, their impact on the legal profession and women practicing law in it, and their endeavors today
Organizations, Committees, and Councils that make up the NCWBA Organizations, Committees, and Councils that make of the NCWBA
Profiles of Prominent Women Attorneys
While Arabella Mansfield may have opened the door to the legal profession for women in 1869, others followed her lead and made strides for women lawyers. This portion of the magazine will include small profiles of other pioneering women lawyers whose actions have moved women in law practice forward.
Attorney Generals Attorney Generals
United States Circuit Court Judges United States Circuit Court Judges
Supreme Court Justices Supreme Court Justices
Looking to the Future
Research shows men and women enter law school and the legal profession in equivalent numbers, but women lawyers hold far fewer positions of leadership and power in companies, law firms, and academia. This article will describe the current state of the legal profession in regard to women’s place in it as well as what is changing for them and how. We will look at who is working toward a more equal and more diverse professional landscape, and what their methods are to achieve that vision.
Women in Law Schools
Women in Leadership Positions
Women Attorneys in Public Service