Hulett, Alta M.

Hulett, Alta M.

(1854–77) lawyer; born in Rockford, Ill. As a 17-year-old she studied law in a prominent Illinois lawyer's office and soon passed the required examination, but her application for admission to the bar was simply ignored by the Illinois court. She turned to teaching but drew up a bill rejecting sex-based discrimination in employment (except in the military and on juries); the Illinois legislature passed it in 1872. She moved to Chicago, spent another year studying law, and ended up at the head of her class (all others males). After this, in 1873 she became the first woman admitted to practice law in Illinois and had a successful practice during her last few years.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.