Milestones for Women in Idaho Law

1890

Idaho admitted as 43rd state

1895

Helen Louise Young admitted as first women lawyer in Idaho

1896

Women’s suffrage amendment to Idaho Constitution adopted granting women the right to vote

1898

First women (non-lawyers) elected to the Idaho House of Representatives (Clara Campbell of Boise, Hattie Noble of Idaho City and Mary A. Wright of Rathdrum)

1905

Bertha Stull Green is first Idaho woman lawyer to lobby the Idaho Legislature

1906

Ola Johnesse is first woman clerk of the Idaho Supreme Court

1918

Laura Starcher is first woman mayor (Parma) in United States

1920

Idaho ratifies the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote

1921

M. Pearl McCall is first woman Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

1923

Mary Shelton is first woman to graduate from University of Idaho College of Law (although she does not sit for the Idaho bar)

1924

M. Pearl McCall is first Idaho woman lawyer admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court

1926

Kate E. Nevile Feltham is first woman elected as a county prosecutor in Idaho (Washington County)

1933

Myrtle Enking of Gooding is first woman state treasurer in Idaho (second in United States)

1935

Margaret Bognet Pike is first woman appointed to Idaho Senate

1936

Mary Smith Oldham is first woman to argue a case before the Idaho Supreme Court

1939

Margaret Geisler is first woman (non-lawyer) to serve as a judge in Idaho (probate judge for Camas County)

1939

Margaret Olsen is first woman elected to Idaho Senate

1941

Alberta Morton Phillips first woman to receive the William E. Borah Award from the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity at the University of Idaho College of Law for having the highest scholastic average in her law school class

1941

Alberta Morton Phillips is first woman graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law to be admitted to practice in Idaho (second woman graduate overall)

1941

Mary Elizabeth Schmitt is first Idaho woman lawyer to clerk with the Idaho Supreme Court (Justice Raymond L. Givens) (Bernice Bacharach follows shortly thereafter, in 1942, clerking for Justice Edwin Holden)

1943

Alberta Morton Phillips is first woman to teach at the University of Idaho College of Law

1943

Rei Kihara Osaki is first Japanese-American woman to graduate from the University of Idaho College of Law and become a member of Idaho bar

1945

Mary Smith Oldham is first woman lawyer to serve as a judge in Idaho (Justice of the Peace for Madison County)

1948

Edith Miller Klein is first Idaho woman lawyer elected to Idaho Legislature

1952

Ina Mae Wheeler Hanford is first Idaho woman lawyer to clerk with the U.S. District Court, District of Idaho (Judge Chase A. Clark)

1953

Gracie Bowers Pfost elected as first woman from Idaho to serve in U.S. Congress (House of Representatives)

1967

Janice O. Hamilton is last woman admitted to bar under bar’s apprenticeship program (i.e., without requirement of attending law school)

1968

Susan Flandro is the first woman Deputy Idaho Attorney General

1975

50th woman admitted to the bar in Idaho

1979

100th woman admitted to the bar in Idaho

1983

Deborah Bail is appointed first woman district court judge in Idaho (Ada County)

1986

Kaye O’Riordan is elected as the first woman to serve on Idaho State Bar’s Board of Commissioners (representing the Fourth Judicial District)

1986

Merrily Munther is the first woman President of the Idaho Law Foundation

1986

Ida Leggett is first African-American woman admitted to the bar in Idaho

1988

Kaye O’Riordan is the first woman President of the Idaho State Bar

1990

Cathy Silak is appointed first woman appellate court judge in Idaho (Idaho Court of Appeals)

1991

Marsha Smith is appointed first woman Commissioner of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission

1991

Betty H. Richardson is appointed first woman Commissioner of the Idaho Industrial Commission

1992

Ida Leggett is first African-American appointed to the bench in Idaho (Lewiston)

1992

Susan Graham is first woman President of the Idaho Trial Lawyers

1992

Linda Copple Trout is first woman justice of the Idaho Supreme Court

1992

500th woman admitted to bar in Idaho

1993

Betty H. Richardson is first woman United States Attorney for Idaho

1993

Linda Copple Trout is first woman Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court

1993

Linda Palmer Judd is first woman awarded the Idaho State Bar’s Professionalism Award

2001

1,000th woman admitted to the bar in Idaho

2003

Mary Smith Oldham is first woman awarded the Distinguished Lawyer award, the Idaho State Bar’s highest honor

2005

Idaho State Bar recognizes the “First 50 Women” admitted to the bar in Idaho

2008

Candy W. Dale is first woman appointed to the federal bench in Idaho (United States Magistrate Judge)

2008

Candy W. Dale is appointed first Chief Magistrate Judge for the District of Idaho