Nellie MacNamara ’18


+++++26 October 1888, in San Antonio, Texas


+++++John Simon MacNamara and Nellie Matilda Lidstone


+++++one sister, Susie

Legal Education:

+++++LL.B., Northwestern University Law School, Chicago, IL  1914-1917

Admission to Practice:

  • Illinois 1917
  • Montana 1918


  • Assistant to County Attorney, Kalispell, MT [It appears Ms. MacNamara spent about one year in Montana before returning to Chicago.]
  • Legal Aid Bureau of United Charities of Chicago
  • Instructor and Director of Legal Clinics, Northwestern University Law School (“Her students get practical training in Chicago’s Legal Aid.”)


+++++Association of American Law Schools, Clinical Legal Education


  • Nellie MacNamara, “Teaching Legal Ethics by the Clinical Method,” 8 American L. Sch. Rev. 241 (1935).


+++++8 September 1959, in Dallas, Texas

6 January 1919 — Great Falls Daily Tribune — “Flathead County for First Time Will Have a Woman Engaged in Law Practice”

+++++“For the first time in history, Flathead county is to have a woman attorney engaged in the practice of law.
+++++The woman who enjoys this distinction is Miss Nellie MacNamara, who has been acting as assistant to County Attorney MacDonald for six months.
+++++Miss MacNamara is a graduate of the law school of Northwestern university, Chicago, and for a time was employed [with] Legal Aid in that city. She came to Montana recently and has been working for Mr. MacDonald while ‘getting the lay of the land.’ She likes this part of the country and will locate in the practice of law for herself within a few days, probably at Whitefish.”

Women Lawyers’ Journal, Volume 8, Number 4 (April 1919)

+++++“Miss Nellie McNamara, a graduate of Northwestern University, has gone from Chicago to open an office for the practice of law in Kalispell, Montana.”

Women Lawyers’ Journal, Volume 9, Number 1 (Oct.-Dec. 1919)

+++++“Miss Nellie McNamara, who has been engaged in the practice of law in Kalispell, Montana, for the past year, has returned to Chicago.”

10 September 1959 — Dallas Morning News [Obituary]

+++++Graveside services for Miss Nellie MacNamara, 70, of 3428 John’s, a former Chicago resident active in legal and social work, will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont.
+++++Miss MacNamara died Tuesday at the home of her sister, Mrs. Irvin A. Fridge, who is the only survivor.
+++++A native of San Antonio, she moved to Dallas in 1958.
+++++A graduate of Northwestern University, she was a practicing attorney and district attorney in Kalisville [Kalispell], Montana. She returned to Chicago in the 1920’s and practiced law and taught at Northwestern for 31 years.
+++++She served as senior attorney for the Free Legal Bureau for many years and was president of the executive board of Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Chicago for 19 years.
+++++Miss MacNamara was a member of the American, Illinois and Illinois Women’s Bar Association.  She was twice president of the latter group.
+++++She was a member of the Judicature Society and was active in the Chicago Symphony Association.

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