Legal Education for Women

Washington College of Law

Washington College of Law is the first law school in this country to be founded by women, Ellen Spencer Mussey (1850-1936) and Emma M. Gillett (1852-1927). 

Both women were practicing attorneys in the District of Columbia. In 1896, they organized a Women's Law Class "to afford women the opportunity for a thorough course of legal study which will increase their intellectual grasp, be useful to them in business life, and fit them for the practice of law." 

At the time, it was the only law school in the south to admit women and for the first 49 years of its existence, only women served as deans.

Lent by Professor Jan Perlin,Washington College of Law


Previous Exhibit

Up to Room Level

Next Exhibit