Belva Lockwood (1830–1917) was a suffragist, a lawyer, and the first woman to practice law before the US Supreme Court. Lockwood spent her early career as a teacher in schools in New York and Washington, DC. She began to study law on her own in the late 1860s, and in 1871, she enrolled at the new National University Law School. Though she finished her studies in 1872, she was denied graduation due to her sex. In 1873,  Lockwood finally received her degree and was admitted to the District of Columbia bar association. She was, however, refused admission to practice before the US Supreme Court. Lockwood became an advocate for women’s rights, spending several years lobbying for legislation that would allow women to be admitted to the US Supreme Court bar. In 1879, she became the first woman admitted to the US Supreme Court bar and, in 1880, the first woman to practice before that court. In 1884 and again in 1888, she ran for president on the Equal Rights Party ticket. She continued advocating for women’s rights and became an important leader in the US peace movement.

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