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Myra Blackwell
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Myra Bradwell – A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Myra Bradwell – A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Myra Bradwell, the American lawyer, made an indelible impact on women’s rights during a time when the idea of gender equality was unimaginable. She played a vital role in breaking through the gender barriers of the legal profession, paving the way for generations of female lawyers and judges to follow.

Myra fought tirelessly for women’s suffrage and worked arduously to change the legal system that had marginalized women for centuries. Thanks to her unwavering dedication, women’s rights have progressed significantly over the years, and she remains a renowned figure in the fight for gender equality. Let’s take a look at her life and how she changed the course of history.

The Early Years Of Myra Bradwell

Myra Bradwell was born in 1831 and grew up in Manchester, Vermont. She met her husband, James B. Bradwell while attending school at Elgin Female Seminary (now known as the Judson University). After their marriage in 1852, she moved with him to Chicago, where they started a family and began their professional careers.

In 1860, Myra opened up her own law office in Chicago—a revolutionary move for a woman at that time! With an immense thirst for knowledge and hard work, she later became one of the first women to be admitted to the Illinois Bar Association in 1869 after passing the bar exam. However, this accomplishment was short-lived as Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley denied her admission due to her gender—a decision that left many people angered.

Myra didn’t give up though. She continued to fight for women’s rights until her death in 1894. During this period, she founded The Chicago Legal News, which provided legal access to those unable to afford lawyers or find other sources of legal information during this period. In addition, Myra played an important role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted all American citizens, regardless of gender or race, the right to vote.

Paving The Way For Female Lawyers

Myra Bradwell is truly an inspiring figure who paved the way for many female lawyers and activists alike. From being one of the first women admitted into the Illinois Bar Association to founding The Chicago Legal News and playing a part in women gaining voting rights—her legacy lives on today! Without Myra’s endless determination and ambition, we wouldn’t have come so far with gender equality today.

We can all learn from her story and continue fighting for what we believe in, no matter what obstacles may stand ahead! This is why it’s so important that we remember Myra’s achievements so that future generations can benefit from them too!

We are proud to highlight this story as part of our partnership with The National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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Founder, Smart Girl, Survivor, Champion of womens rights and kids rights


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