“Butte’s Two Women Lawyers”

2 July 1922 — Anaconda Standard

+++++Butte’s two young women lawyers feel that there is a particular field for their talents in the practice of law.  Miss Helen Roscow, while she has no hobbies, no overpowering program of reform, feels that her special field is in probate practice. Estate cases constitute the field in which she likes best to exercise her talents.  Miss Neyman declares that the divorce courts have been grinding too long under the supervision of men and ‘they haven’t done a very good job of it.’  She thinks this must be changed. She is active in her espousal of the cause of national marriage and divorce laws.

+++++Miss Jessie Roscow was admitted to the bar in 1917. She was born in Illinois and removed to Nebraska, in which state she attended the university before taking up her residence in Butte. She has had training in the law offices of Lamb and Walker and that of Maj. Jesse B. Roote.  In addition to her private practice she is employed as an assistant to Judge Sidney Sanner.
+++++‘Would I recommend the law as a profession for women?’ inquired Miss Roscow.  ‘No. I would not. Women as a sex are not fitted for it.  Law appeals to some women as it appeals to me. In such cases I seen no reason why my sex should not succeed in the profession.  For that matter there are many men who are not adapted to the law and could not be induced to take it up.’
+++++Miss Roscow has no hobbies, is not ’emancipated,’ is fond of outdoor sports and takes a keen interest in public affairs, but has no ‘mission’ or overpowering ambition, except to be a good lawyer.
+++++‘I prefer office and research work to court practice,’ she said.  ‘My sex has nothing to do with this preference.  There are many men at the bar who do not care for court work. There are others who do not care for office work at all. The question is a temperamental matter.
+++++‘I find myself peculiarly adapted to probate work — looking after estate matters. This line of practice calls for close attention to minute details, and for this reason I think women are better adapted to its demands than are men.  I hope in time to so establish myself in this line that when people think of probate matters they will at once think of Jessie Roscow — probate and Roscow would be a slogan that would please me most.’
+++++Miss Roscow was seen Saturday afternoon. She was surrounded by law books, well-thumbed volumes.  ‘I devote Saturday afternoons to study,’ she said. ‘The law is a fine profession. The prospective lawyer, however, must make up her mind to the fact that it calls for deep study, close application and the sacrifice of many enjoyments that are dear to the young.  A girl who has a liking for legal matters and who is willing to make the sacrifice, should succeed. Brains has no sex.  Women are better adapted to some branches than are men, but this is due to their training in patience and in matters of detail.’

+++++Miss Fanny Neyman, Butte’s youngest lawyer and one of two girl practitioners at the Silver Bow county bar, is an uncompromising little democrat.  She is quite content to obey any statute providing the people themselves indorse it.
+++++She is strong for personal liberty and feels ours is a government ‘of the people, for the people, and by the people,’ and that their personal liberty should not be invaded by legislative enactment, but by a direct consideration of their wishes expressed in their vote.  ‘We do not live for ourselves alone,’ she said, ‘ and the rights and interests of the community as a whole must be considered ahead of the rights and comforts of the individual.’  Questioned regarding her views, she said:
+++++‘I don’t like to see women in knickerbockers on the [illegible] . . . nor do I like idea of women [illegible] but I feel that they have a perfect right to do those things if they see fit — it is a personal matter.
+++++‘Prohibition?  Well, the people of our station and nation have voted for it individually and collectively.  It stands as an amendment to our constitution and as such, should be upheld by the people.  If the people of our state and nation feel now that they have made a mistake in prohibition, the remedy lies in their hands.  I feel, however, that the law as it stands should be respected and obeyed.
+++++‘How did I determine on the law as a profession?  A natural liking for it. When in school I enjoyed civics and later I took commercial law and found it so interesting I decided to study other branches of it.
+++++‘What branch of the law do I most favor?  Corporation and probate.  I would not care for criminal law, except where women or children are the defendants. Divorce cases? Certainly.  Men have been running the divorce courts for years and years, and they haven’t made a very good job of it.  Everything connected with divorce has been viewed from the man’s angle.  We must change that.  I am in favor or national marriage and divorce laws.
+++++‘Do I intend to get married?  I do not — that is, not yet, not for along, long time,’ she said hastily.  ‘I believe in marriage as an institution and that wifehood, motherhood, is the most exalted position in the world.  God gave it to women and the married state is a natural one for both sexes.
+++++‘In cases involving women and children, I believe the woman lawyer has a large field and one in which she can produce good results.’
+++++Miss Neyman, who is still so youthful that she dislikes to admit her age, was born in Butte and educated here.  She has had a number of cases in court since her admission in January, 1922 [sic 1921], and has been very successful.  She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Neyman, both of whom are deceased.
+++++Her office is at 55 West Broadway with James E. Murray.

For more on Jessie Roscow, see https://mtwomenlawyers.org/1910-1919/jessie-roscow-17/
For more on Fanney Neyman, see https://mtwomenlawyers.org/1920-1929/fanney-neyman-21/

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