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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 (ret.) 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 to 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 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.

You may view or download the complete booklet, "A Celebration of New Hampshire's First 100 Women Lawyers" highlighting each of these amazing women.

1. Agnes Winifred McLaughlin

2. Jennie Blanche Newhall

3. Margaret Sheehan Blodgett

4. Helen George

5. Sara T. Knox

6. Esther Gottesfeld Lublin

7. Miriam G. Rosenblum

8. Pauline Swain Merrill

9. Harriet E. Mansfield

10. Paula Ladday

11. Florence T. Cavanaugh

12. Nina N. Frankman

13. Marguerita M. Hurley

14. Evelyn C. Earley

15. Emily Marx

16. Beatrice F. Little

17. Beryle M. Aldrich

18. Mary Alice Fountain

19. Celia D.R. Novins

20. Evangeline V. Tallman

21. Doris Louise Bennett

22. Mary E. Perkins

23. Pauline B. Barnard

24. Mabelle Fellows Murphy

25. Leila L. Maynard

26. Ida V. C. Milligan

27. Ruth I. Moses

28. Margaret Quill Flynn

29. Lucille Kozlowski

30. Irma A. Matthews

31. Catharine B. Sage

32. Anne M. Howorth

33. Rachel Hallett Johnson

34. Caroline R. Grey

35. Constance M. Mehegan

36. Winnifred M. Moran

37. Constance J. Betley

38. Helen White

39. Judith Dunlop Ransmeier

40. Mary Susan Stein Leahy

41. Laura Jane Kahn

42. Martha Margaret Davis

43. Eleanor S. Krasnow

44. Susan B. Monson

45. Julia N. Nelson

46. Dorothy R. Sullivan

47. Jean K. Burling

48. Donna W. Economou

49. Alexandra T. Breed

50. Linda Stewart Dalianis

51. Claudia Cords Damon

52. Georgia C. Griffin

53. Barbara Sard

54. Bruce Earman Viles

55. Joyce Ann Wilder

56. Joan L. Carroll

57. Anne Swift Almy

58. Sharon Ann Coughlin

59. Anne M. Goggin

60. J. Campbell Harvey

61. Judith Miller Kasper

62. Patricia McKee

63. Ellen J. Musinsky

64. Brenda T. Piampiano

65. Janina Stodolski

66. Elizabeth B. Sullivan

67. Priscilla B. Fox

68. Micki B. Stiller

69. Mae C. Bradshaw

70. Anne Cagwin Hagstrom

71. Deborah J. Cooper

72. Lynne M. Dennis

73. Nancy E. Ebb

74. Abigail Elias

75. Alice S. Love

76. Stephanie T. Nute

77. Elaine R. Warshell

78. Catherine Ravinski

79. Carolyn W. Baldwin

80. Dorothy Bickford-Desmond

81. Charlotte Crane

82. Pamela D. Kelly

83. Janine Gawryl

84. Cathy J. Green

85. Jody D. Handy

86. Dona L. Heller

87. Carolyn H. Henneman

88. Constance G. Jackson

89. Barbara R. Keshen

90. Karin Kramer

91. Jane R. Lawrence

92. Ellen L. Arnold

93. Lizbeth Lyons

94. Elizabeth Marean Mueller

95. Marilyn Billings McNamara

96. Margaret B. Morin

97. Nancy V. Sisemoore

98. Susan Vercillo Duprey

99. Lanea A. Witkus

100. Nancy O. Dodge

This web site is for informational purposes only. No information submitted to this site will be deemed to be, or kept, confidential. The NHWBA is a voluntary professional organization. It is not affiliated with the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Copyright 2023 NHWBA. All Rights Reserved.

New Hampshire Women's Bar Association

497 Hooksett Road

Box 179

Manchester, NH 03104