Mary Philbrook (1872-1958)
Source: Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens, 1917-1918 (Paterson: J.J.
Scannell), p. 399.
Mary Philbrook of Jersey City became familiar with New Jersey law
when she apprenticed herself in a local law office. When she applied to be admitted to the
New Jersey bar in 1894, her application was denied because New Jersey law did not allow
women to practice in the state. New Jersey suffragists lobbied the state legislature to
pass a bill which eventually resulted in Philbrook's admission to the bar in June 1895. In
1906, Philbrook became the first woman to practice law before the United States Supreme
Court. Mary Philbrook, who met Alice Paul during a suffrage demonstration, worked
throughout her life for equal rights for women, social reform, and world peace.