Clarice Baright

Clarice Baright was one of the first women admitted to the American Bar Association and the second woman to become a magistrate in New York City. Baright took night classes at NYU Law School and, despite women being ineligible for law degrees, she took the bar exam in 1905. She focused her law career on juvenile delinquency and wrote several books on the psychology of child crime. She was also the first to bring an official motion to demand women judges, at a time when women still did not have the right to vote. She was recommended for the bench in 1915, but was rejected because she was Jewish, finally earning the honor in 1925 as a brief replacement for a judge who was ill. Though she fought for a more permanent place on the bench, she was repeatedly denied. Despite this, she had a distinguished career and was the first woman to try a case before an army court-martial. She joined a law practice and became a full partner in 1950, retiring in 1958.

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In a career spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Clarice Baright (1881-1961), the "Lady Angel of the Tenement District," fought for the rights of New York City's children and poor while earning the distinctions of serving as the second female magistrate in the city's history and of being among the first few women admitted to the American Bar Association.

Institution: U.S. Library of Congress.

Date of Birth


Date of Death
Social Worker, Lawyer, Judge, Writer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Clarice Baright." (Viewed on April 17, 2021) <>.


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