The content of women's legal practices
The Woman's Journal makes infrequent mention of the content of women's
Stories are more about the novelty of their admission to
law school and the bar and about their male-connectedness. Most mentions
of legal cases are the women's own in seeking admission to the bar.
few exceptions (from the "Women Lawyers--General" folder) follow:
* This tantalizing story refers to an apparently important case without dis-
cussing what it was about:
"Detroit's woman lawyer--Mrs. Martha Strickland--
has recently won a case in the Supreme Court of Michigan which has been close-
ly contested for two years, and which all acknowledge would have been lost
but for her faithful and skilful [sic] efforts in behalf of her client.
As often as defeated in the lower court she applied to the Supreme Court
for relief, and has won three successive victories, the case finally terminat-
ing in her favor.
Evidently the proverbial feminine desire for the 'last
word' is a quality that may be used to advantage in the practice of the law!"
WJ, 1/18/1890, at 18, col. 1.
* Mrs. Ada M. Bittenbender of Lincoln, Neb., on the day, Aug. 17, 1883, that
she was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Nebraska, "applied to
that court for a writ of mandamus to compel a town board to hear remon-
strances before granting saloon licenses under the Slocumb law.
the first case under the law, and as she won her point, it established a
precedent which has been followed ever since.
From 1884 to 1889, she was
the superintendent of legislation and petitions of the Nebraska W.C.T.U.,
and aided in securing the passage of the scientific temperance instruction
bill, the law giving the mother equally with the father the guardianship
of her children, the law raising the age of protection for girls from twelve
to fifteen years, and other important measures. . . . Court practice is more
to her liking than office work.
She is a prohibitionist and a suffragist.
She is an ardent advocate of anti-monopoly and ba