Vel Phillips is the first Black judge in Wisconsin
Phillips also becomes the first female judge in Milwaukee.
Olga Bennett becomes the first woman elected to the bench in Wisconsin
Bennett runs for election to the Vernon County bench on the spur of the moment. “I just didn’t think I’d win. I only ran because I thought the voters ought to have a choice.” She added, “I do feel a woman can deal out justice as well as a man.” She becomes Wisconsin’s sole woman judge on Jan. 1, 1970.
Verle E. Sells is appointed Wisconsin’s first female judge
Gov. Phil La Follette appoints Sells to the Florence County municipal court, making her Wisconsin’s first female judge. At her death in 1940, she is still Wisconsin’s only female judge.
Mabel Watson Raimey is Wisconsin’s first Black woman lawyer
Raimey is also the first Black woman known to have graduated from a law school in Wisconsin and the first Black woman to graduate from UW Madison.
Dorothy Walker is first woman elected county district attorney
Walker is elected Columbia County district attorney at age 23. She is the first woman to hold this position in Wisconsin. The press reports that she is also the first female district attorney in the United States. During her four-year term, she prosecutes over 300 cases.
Belle Case La Follette becomes the first woman to graduate from the UW Law School
La Follette says that it did not take much to convince her that she could handle law school without neglecting her baby and her husband, Dane County District Attorney Bob La Follette, who later became Wisconsin’s governor and senator.
Kate Kane becomes the first woman to run for the supreme court
Kane, Wisconsin’s second woman lawyer, becomes the first woman to run for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Only men could participate in elections then. She wins three votes.