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Mary and Myra (Audio Trailer and Slideshow)

Thus, as a married woman, Bradwell could not have a separate legal existence distinct from her husband. The Illinois Supreme Court ruling, however, did not answer the question on whether prohibiting women to practice law would promote the proper administration of justice, and the general well-being of society.

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Myra appealed the decision to the U. Supreme Court on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause.

The Court, unfortunately, upheld the decision of the Illinois State Court. By , however, several states began to abandon the doctrine of coverture and enacted statutes that allowed married women to enter contracts without the consent of their husbands. In , for instance, the Illinois legislature passed a law that stated, "No person shall be precluded or debarred from any occupation, profession, or employment except military on account of sex.

Myra Bradwell

Toward the end of her life, in , the Supreme Court of Illinois finally granted Bradwell her license to practice law, and in the U. Supreme Court granted her license as well. Her official documents were dated , the original year Bradwell applied. These court actions made her the first woman lawyer in Illinois. Unfortunately, Bradwell died from cancer in , only two years after both courts granted her license to practice law.

During her life, Myra Bradwell challenged the status quo and used her platform to advocate for women's rights. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

Who Was Myra Bradwell: America's First Woman Lawyer

See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on Sep 16, Myra Bradwell was a proper Victorian lady, who stepped out of her comfort zone, passed the Bar exam with honors, but was denied a license to practice law. She took her case all the way to the U.


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Supreme Court, but the justices ruled against her. Myra went ahead and published a legal newspaper. She became so influential that lawyers and justices relied on her to clarify and publish rulings.

Myra Bradwell: The First Woman Admitted to the Illinois Bar

She made herself indispensable to the very people who wanted to keep her out of the courtroom. SlideShare Explore Search You.

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Myra Bradwell

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