“General Laws of Montana, Enacted by the Sixteenth Legislative Assembly.
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
A BILL for an act to amend Section One Hundred and Two, Chapter Nine of the Fifth Division of the Compiled Laws of Montana, relating to admitting to practice Attorneys at Law
Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Montana:
SECTION 1. Section one hundred and two of chapter nine of the Fifth Division of the General Laws of Montana, is hereby amended by adding thereto the following:
Provided, That all persons otherwise qualified, shall be eligible to be admitted to practice as attorneys and counsellors [sic] at law without regard to sex, and wherever the words ‘he’ or ‘his’ are used in this chapter, they shall be construed to also include ‘she’ or her.’
So that the section when amended shall read, ‘Section One Hundred and Two: No person shall be permitted to practice as and defend any action, suit or plaint, in which he is not a party concerned, in any court of record within this territory, either by using or subscribing his own name or the name of any other person without previously having obtained a license for that purpose from some two of the justices of the supreme court, which license shall constitute the person receiving the same an attorney and counselor at law, and shall authorize him to appear in all the courts of record within this territory and there to practice as an attorney and counselor at law according to the laws and customs thereof, for and during his good behavior in said practice, and to demand and receive all such fees as an attorney and counselor at law in this territory: Provided, That all persons otherwise qualified shall be eligible to be admitted to practice as attorney and counselor at law without regard to sex and whenever the words ‘he’ or ‘his’ are used in this chapter they shall be construed to also include ‘she’ or ‘her.’
SEC. 2. This act shall take effect from and after its passage.
Approved, February 13, 1889.”
April 22, 1890 — Idaho Statesman
“Montana has but one woman lawyer, Miss Ella Knowles, who has built up a lucrative practice in Helena within the last six months. Miss Knowles was born in Northwood, N. H., and is now 26 years of age. She is a farmer’s daughter, and graduated from the New Hampshire Normal School when about 16 years of age. After graduating in a Maine college, she accepted a position of Professor of Elocution and Rhetoric at the Western Normal College, Shenandoah, Iowa, where she remained for a year. Her health beginning to fail, she went to Salt Lake, remaining there a year, when she removed to Helena. In the last Territorial Legislature she framed a bill and had it introduced permitting women to practice law in Montana, and it was passed with only three dissenting votes. She was admitted to the bar December 27, 1889, having passed a rigid examination with unusual credit.”
For more on Ms. Knowles, see https://mtwomenlawyers.org/1889-2/ella-knowles-haskell/