Finding a good female lawyer in Florida is not difficult nowadays.
Take the case of Kristin Swanson-Mace, an Orlando-based attorney. A graduate of the California Western School of Law, Swanson-Mace has over 25 years of experience. Testament of her abilities lies in the fact that Orlando Home & Leisure’s June, 2011, issue listed Kristin Swanson-Mace as one of Orlando’s top women lawyers.
However, women lawyers, such as Swanson-Mace, constituted a rarity in the early 1900s.
It took talented, hardworking women to break the mold and advance in a largely male-dominated profession. Louise Rebecca Pinnell, a 60-year-old veteran of the legal profession, pioneered the way in 1898. Pinnell waited five months before a Supreme Court ruling made it possible for her to work as a lawyer. Soon after, Mary Stewart Howarth-Hewitt became the first female graduate from a law school in Florida. An accomplished multitasker and entrepreneur, Howarth-Hewitt started an assortment of businesses, including a daycare center and a bank, in addition to raising three daughters.
Women who thought differently, such as Pinnell and Howarth-Hewitt, laid the groundwork for today’s female lawyers to enjoy acceptance and success in Florida.