24 May 1918 — Daily Inter Lake — “Law Students Scarce Now at University”
“There will be but one male member of the graduating class of the law school of the state university who will receive an LL. B. degree this year. That distinction is held by Emin C. Prestbye, manager of the Associated Students of the University of Montana. The law school service flag with its 52 stars gives mute testimony of the reason why there are no more men in the school to qualify for the degree. There are three women, however, who will be given the coveted LL. B. on graduation day. They are Miss Edna Rankin, Miss M. Frances Garrigus and Mrs. G. M. Bailey.”
2 September 1922 — Wichita Beacon — “The Woman Lawyer”
“The persistent refusal of Columbia University to admit women to its Law school has brought forth the following editorial comment from The Woman Citizen:
‘Of course there isn’t any real argument in rebuttal. There is nothing essentially masculine about the profession of law. There is, to be sure, the detail that the laws to be administered were made by men, largely in the interests of men, but that is an additional reason for having women employed in their administration. The material that the law applies to is humankind, not merely mankind. Woman’s point of view is needed at the bar and on the bench, fifty-fifty, as it is needed in other departments of life; and it is specifically needed in children’s courts and courts of domestic relations. Moreover, the old notion that women never have that mystical endowment, the “legal mind,” has been well exploded, as witness a fairly long list of women lawyers (so many that it takes more than one special magazine to record their activities) and a growing list of impressive woman judges and magistrates.’
List of Universities Open to Women Desiring to Study Law
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
New York University
George Washington University
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Brooklyn Law School of St. Lawrence University”
17 December 1974 — Montana Standard — “More Women at the Law School”
“Women may be greatly outnumbered at the University of Montana law school, but it’s not as lonely as it once was.
Two Montana attorneys separately recalled being the only female law student during part of their time at UM. Each told of spending a lot of time studying on the couch in the ladies’ room.
It would take an enlarged ladies’ room and several more davenports to hold the women attending the law school today.
Twenty-six women out of a total enrollment of 206 students are attending the UM law school this year.
The first woman [Bernice Selfridge] graduated from the UM law school in 1914, its third year of operation. A few others graduated every few years, and by 1961, a law school history noted that 28 women had received UM law degrees, a tiny fraction of the number of men graduating.
More women have been admitted to law school in recent years.
During the 1973-74 school year, 19 women — two seniors, eight juniors and nine freshman — were among the 185 students enrolled in UM’s law school. That comes out to 10.2 per cent women, somewhat below the national average of 15.8 per cent in law schools approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1973-74 but about in line with law schools in neighboring states. Wyoming (11.3 percent women) and North Dakota (10.9 per cent) both topped the UM law school, but UM finished ahead of law schools at South Dakota (9.6 per cent), Idaho (9.3 per cent) and Gonzaga (5.2 per cent)
Law schools at the Universities of Washington (24.6 per cent), Colorado (20.8 per cent) and Oregon (20 per cent) were ahead of the national average of women students.
Assistant UM Dean Sandra R. Muckelston said nine women were admitted to the freshman class this year out of the 20 or 25 women who applied.”
by Charles S. Johnson and Charles E. Hood Jr.
11 April 1976 — Independent Record — “Law caucus gets grant”
“The Woman’s Law Caucus, a branch of the Student Bar Association at the University of Montana in Missoula, has been awarded a $150 grant by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association to finance the Women’s Law Caucus Counseling and Recruitment Program.
Diane Rotering, Clancy, a second-year law student at UM, who is project director, said the primary goal of the recruitment program is to encourage and promote increased enrollment of women in the University of Montana Law School.
Pamphlets featuring the UM Law School will be mailed to high school, junior colleges and universities within Montana. The material will include an explanation of what must be done to apply to law school, a list of opportunities to women attorneys.
There are now 30 women students at the UM Law School out of a total enrollment of 214, and seven women will gradaute from the Law School this year.”