NHWBA: first 100 women

In 2001, the NHWBA undertook to identify the first 100 women admitted to practice law in New Hampshire. Our purpose was simple – to celebrate the women who led the way for today’s women lawyers.

About the Project

Kay Sternenberg planted the seed for this project after attending a similar celebration in Vermont. A committee was formed and work began in earnest. The architect of this project was Kristin Thompson, who at the time was working at the Supreme Court as a clerk to Senior Associate Justice (ret.) Sherman D. Horton, Jr., and later to Associate Justice James E. Duggan. Her early inquiries revealed that, while the New Hampshire Bar Association identifies the gender of its members, it does not maintain comprehensive records of admittees to the Bar prior to the unification of the Bar in 1968. On the other hand, the Supreme Court records from 1878 to 1977 enter the names of all attorneys admitted in practice in a separate administrative docket number on the day they were admitted. Countless hours were spent by a committee of approximately 20 people to research both the identities of the first 100 women and additional background information. We remain grateful to this day for their work and dedication to this project and for the rich history that they uncovered for the benefit of all women of the New Hampshire Bar.

The First 100 Women

The right of women to apply for admission to the bar of the State of New Hampshire was won by Marilla Marks Ricker, of Dover, New Hampshire, an attorney already admitted to practice in Washington, D.C. It was her Ricker’s Petition, 66 N.H. 207 (1890), which allowed women, previously denied, to seek license to practice law in New Hampshire. However, Marilla Ricker never sought admission in New Hampshire herself.

The first woman admitted to practice law in New Hampshire was 8 years old when the Ricker decision came down. Classmates of New Hampshire native Agnes Winifred (Winnie) McLaughlin predicted that she would become a lawyer. She did indeed, on June 30, 1917. It took 60 years before there were 100 women admitted to practice law in this state. The 100th woman, Nancy O. Dodge, was admitted on November 1, 1977. Click on the link below for the complete book highlighting each of these amazing women.

1.
Agnes Winifred McLaughlin
51.
Claudia Cords Damon
2.
Jennie Blanche Newhall
52.
Georgia C. Griffin
3.
Margaret Sheehan Blodgett
53.
Barbara Sard
4.
Helen George
54.
Bruce Earman Viles
5.
Sara T. Knox
55.
Joyce Ann Wilder
6.
Esther Gottesfeld Lublin
56.
Joan L. Carroll
7.
Miriam G. Rosenblum
57.
Anne Swift Almy
8.
Pauline Swain Merrill
58.
Sharon Ann Coughlin
9.
Harriet E. Mansfield
59.
Anne M. Goggin
10.
Paula Ladday
60.
J. Campbell Harvey
11.
Florence T. Cavanaugh
61.
Judith Miller Kasper
12.
Nina N. Frankman
62.
Patricia McKee
13.
Marguerita M. Hurley
63.
Ellen J. Musinsky
14.
Evelyn C. Earley
64.
Brenda T. Piampiano
15.
Emily Marx
65.
Janina Stodolski
16.
Beatrice F. Little
66.
Elizabeth B. Sullivan
17.
Beryle M. Aldrich
67.
Priscilla B. Fox
18.
Mary Alice Fountain
68.
Micki B. Stiller
19.
Celia D.R. Novins
69.
Mae C. Bradshaw
20.
Evangeline V. Tallman
70.
Anne Cagwin Hagstrom
21.
Doris Louise Bennett
71.
Deborah J. Cooper
22.
Mary E. Perkins
72.
Lynne M. Dennis
23.
Pauline B. Barnard
73.
Nancy E. Ebb
24.
Mabelle Fellows Murphy
74.
Abigail Elias
25.
Leila L. Maynard
75.
Alice S. Love
26.
Ida V.C. Milligan
76.
Stephanie T. Nute
27.
Ruth I. Moses
77.
Elaine R. Warshell
28.
Margaret Quill Flynn
78.
Catherine Ravinski
29.
Lucille Kozlowski
79.
Carolyn W. Baldwin
30.
Irma A. Matthews
80.
Dorothy Bickford-Desmond
31.
Catharine B. Sage
81.
Charlotte Crane
32.
Anne M. Howorth
82.
Pamela D. Kelly
33.
Rachel Hallett Johnson
83.
Janine Gawryl
34.
Caroline R. Grey
84.
Cathy J. Green
35.
Constance M. Mehegan
85.
Jody D. Handy
36.
Winnifred M. Moran
86.
Dona L. Heller
37.
Constance J. Betley
87.
Carolyn H. Henneman
38.
Helen White
88.
Constance G. Jackson
39.
Judith Dunlop Ransmeier
89.
Barbara R. Keshen
40.
Mary Susan Stein Leahy
90.
Karin Kramer
41.
Laura Jane Kahn
91.
Jane R. Lawrence
42.
Martha Margaret Davis
92.
Ellen L. Arnold
43.
Eleanor S. Krasnow
93.
Lizbeth Lyons
44.
Susan B. Monson
94.
Elizabeth Marean Mueller
45.
Julia N. Nelson
95.
Marilyn Billings McNamara
46.
Dorothy R. Sullivan
96.
Margaret B. Morin
47.
Jean K. Burling
97.
Nancy V. Sisemoore
48.
Donna W. Economou
98.
Susan Vercillo Duprey
49.
Alexandra T. Breed
99.
Lanea A. Witkus
50.
Linda Stewart Dalianis
100.
Nancy O. Dodge

Download NHWBA First 100 Women  (NOTE: May take several minutes to download to your computer)