“The American female bar is just now receiving its first substantial boom. The novelty of the situation is wearing off; the prejudice in the common mind against the woman lawyer is disappearing; the law departments in the colleges and universities are opening to her; there has come a demand for her services in every substantial legal firm; and the woman herself has learned that the profession is not only possible and practical, but elevating and remunerative. To draft the will or take the acknowledgment or ante-mortem examination of the dying woman her presence is especially welcome. In drafting the details of bills of sale, taking an inventory of household goods, reading the records of real estate, drafting and recording deeds, she is also skillful. — Illustrated American”
19 June 1902 — Tazewell Republican
“There are about twenty-five women lawyers in this city actually engaged in the practice of their profession, some in business for themselves, and some acting as associates with their husbands. Those engaged in the law business alone follow a general practice, while others who do not care to appear in court have take up some special branch of law, such as real estate or the handling of estates.
One woman lawyer claims that there are many women who prefer to consult with women lawyers as they would with women doctors. They feel that a woman lawyer would not take advantage of their ignorance as a man might, and they can ask more questions of a woman than they can of a man without being turned down with scornful looks and gruff answers. As to fees, the women admit that they do not receive as much money for the same class of work as the men do, except in trial cases, but they seem to be pretty well satisfied with their incomes and do not complain of business being at all slow.
‘How are you treated by the men in court?’ a prominent woman lawyer was asked.
‘When we appear in court,’ she answered, ‘we try to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible in our manner of conducting cases, and in the court room, as everywhere else in this county, if a woman conducts herself with dignity and courtesy she will receive courteous treatment from men.’
If a woman lawyer loses a case there is no outburst of tears, she puts her hat on, gathers up her papers and goes back to her office to prepare a motion for a new trial or an appeal to a higher court.”
“Women in the law seem to succeed best in specialties. Some have made reputations in patent law. Many have succeeded in surrogate’s work and real estate practice. The women who have made names for themselves in general practice are few. In New York, Miss Rosalie Loew has a practice of which many well-to-do men lawyers might be proud.
There is said to be great opposition to the idea of professional women, and especially to women lawyers. Personally, I find that everybody treats me well. Judges have always been remarkably kind, and opposing lawyers respectful. SO FAR I HAVE FOUND MY SEX AN ADVANTAGE RATHER THAN A HINDRANCE.
Women who wish to pursue the law as a profession should have not only a college education and law school certificate, but knowledge of the world. They should knock about for a year, and come in contact with all kinds of people, before attempting to practice.
The usual trouble with women as lawyers as yet is that they are either too modest or too much the reverse. They are too new in the profession. They are too self-conscious, and take themselves too seriously.
After all, the chief difference between men and women in the court room is CLOTHES. To this people will in time grow accustomed.
Most women are better fitted for the fireside than for the court room. But if a woman has the proper qualities of mind for the bar, and is enthusiastic in her work, her chance of success in the law is a man’s chance. HE BUILDS ON STUDY, WORK, CHARACTER. SO MUST SHE.”
23 January 1903 — Parsons Daily Sun
“One of the things that are drawing an increasing number of women to the study of law is the feminine gift for detail.
Many people, looking at law from the outside, think of it as something large and mysterious, instead of which it is a matter of small accuracies. In legal work women find a multiplication of definite, exact littles, for dealing with which their native orderliness, nicety and passion for going into particulars seem especially suited.
Under present day conditions office practice is nine-tenths of legal work. While women succeed in court, it is for office practice that they appear particularly gifted. In the drawing up of legal papers and the search for references in the preparation of cases women’s thoroughness and conscientious patience serve them in good stead.
The same faithfulness and reliability that cause women to be preferred as stenographers make them as lawyers proficient in the office.
Indeed, numbers of women have passed into law from stenography. Having learned the routine of a lawyer’s office, they attend law classes to gain a theoretical understanding of the work and make themselves more valuable to their employers; from this they pass to a serious study of the profession.
In New York the number of women engaged in the practice of law increases slowly but steadily. The work of these women is quiet and unobtrusive, but progress is substantial.”
1 April 1903 — Daily Free Press
“The Field for the Woman Lawyer
by Fanny Hallock Carpenter”
“There’s a woman at bottom of every lawsuit.
Woman is the pivotal point around which the world revolves. She is in everything that concerns humanity. It is, therefore, a perfectly natural inference that she should be at the bottom of all things in law, as in everything else.
Everything, from the theft of a fortune to the evasion of a gas bill, has a woman as its background. Woman in a law case occupies one of three positions. She is the motive, the instrument or the victim. Nine times out of ten she is the ‘extenuating circumstance,’ which, despite any other role she may play in the drama, will influence the verdict.
The purely feminine law case, where both accuser and accused are women, is more likely to be complex than that in which the man and woman are involved. Women have curious memories and make ingenious application of seemingly unimportant details.
A woman in love, a woman in hate and a woman in pure selfishness are the three phases of femininity that come before the law. Of the three the woman in hate is usually the most persistent and the woman in love the most interesting to the jury. A breach of promise suit awakens a certain sort of chivalry, especially if the plaintiff be good looking.
The field for the woman lawyer is the finding of the woman in the case. A woman would be quick to recognize just where the feminine touch came into a case. A man might blunder, but she has her own knowledge of herself to guide her. She can divine what the woman’s aims have been, whether she is an adventuress or an injured innocent. She is not likely to be blinded by any of the small feminine subterfuges that might deceive a man. She is a woman and sees through them. She can divine the cause of a woman’s lie where a man would be stopped by the lie itself. In short, the woman is the natural detective where the woman is concerned.”