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Women Working in the Legal System

 

From 1883 to 1887, women in the Washington Territory served as jurors just as they do today. But unlike today, their presence was a source of great legal and social contention. Critics claimed that allowing women to serve as public decision-makers in the state’s courts was a misguided experiment that violated the laws of nature, and would lead to dire consequences for family and society.

-- Aaron Caplan

Resources

Emma Smith DeVoe Papers

Elected Women Biographies

First Washington Women in Law exhibit

Her Day in Court lesson plan

The History of Women's Jury Service in Washington
by Aaron Caplan

Roland Pothier jury panel, 1924