Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Berger on Connecticut's First Woman Lawyer
Matthew Berger, an attorney in private practice in New London, CT, has published an article about Connecticut's first woman lawyer: Mary Hall: The Decision and the Lawyer, 79 Connecticut Bar Journal 29 (2005). The article will be posted on the Stanford Women's Legal History Website, but is not yet on-line. You can get a copy from Mr. Berger. For his contact info, go here and scroll down. Here's his abstract: In 1882 the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors became the first court in the United States to hold that a woman could practice law (In Re Hall, 50 Conn. 131). Expressly rejecting the holding of Bradwell v. State of Illinois, 83 U.S. 130, 21 L.Ed. 442 (1872), the decision allowed Mary Hall to become Connecticut's first woman lawyer, who then went on to practice until her death in 1927. Matthew Berger, a sole practitioner and trained historian in New London Connecticut explains the decision in context, and provides a brief overview of the struggle of women to be admitted the the bar, and a detailed biography of Mary Hall.