Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins: Among the Nation's First Women Lawyers and Law School Graduates
8 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2019
Date Written: 2001
This Article is a historical narrative of Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins who attended the Washington University School of Law in 1869 and are believed by many to be the nation’s first women law students. After passing the Missouri bar with the highest marks of a group of five applicants, Lemma Barkeloo became Missouri’s first, and the country’s second, licensed woman attorney. In her first few months of practice, Barkeloo became the first woman lawyer in the United States to try a case in court. Before attending law school, Phoebe Couzins was a champion of women’s rights. She served as a delegate to the American Equal Rights Association Convention in New York and she spoke to a joint meeting in the Missouri State General Assembly on behalf of women’s suffrage. Couzins went on to become the Law School’s and the University’s first woman graduate. Throughout her career she continued to fight for women’s suffrage and women’s rights. Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins shared courage and conviction, and a desire to do justice. Their spirit survives in the lives of all women law students and lawyers who have followed in their footsteps.
This Article was originally delivered as an introduction to Dean and Professor Susan Appleton’s installation ceremony as the Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law.
Keywords: Women, Women law students, Lemma Barkelee, Phoebe Couzins, St. Louis, Washington University, Washington University School of Law
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