Women & the Law: Nyhan Celebrates Women’s History Month

3.27.2023 Blog

During Women’s History Month, we invite you to learn more about the law and its profound impact on women, as well as how women have shaped the law.

Did you know:

  • In 1869, Arabella Mansfield was the first woman admitted to practice law in the U.S.
  • In 1870, Ada Kepley was the first woman to graduate law school in the U.S. She graduated from Chicago University of Law, predecessor to Union College of Law, later known as Northwestern University School of Law.
  • In 1880, Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • In 1973, a federal law was passed allowing women to serve on a jury in all 50 states. Prior to 1973, this varied by state. Utah was the first state to allow women to serve jury duty in 1898.
  • The Fair Credit Opportunity Act, passed in 1974, made it illegal for financial institutions to discriminate against an applicant’s gender. Before this was passed, banks could refuse to give women credit cards.
  • The 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act made it unlawful to discriminate against pregnant people. This act was passed following a 1972 lawsuit filed by Lillian Garland, a receptionist at a California Bank, who went on unpaid leave and found her position filled when she returned.
  • In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Until 2018, Utah and Idaho were the last two states that did not have clear legislation protecting breastfeeding parents from obscenity laws.

Countless women have left a lasting impact on the law and legal profession while paving the way for further advancements. Nyhan honors both the women today that continue to make history as well as their predecessors. Happy Women’s History Month!