Margarete Berent fought for acceptance as the first female lawyer to practice in Prussia and began her career again from scratch after fleeing Nazi persecution. Berent worked as a schoolteacher while putting herself through law school, despite the fact that women were not allowed to practice law in Berlin. She took her qualifying exam in Bavaria, becoming the second woman lawyer in Germany, and finished her PhD in 1913. She then began a clerkship in a law firm, taking on more responsibility when the male lawyers were drafted during the war. She also taught law and edited a family law journal. After the war, Berent opened her own law firm, worked with various women’s rights organizations, and helped found the League of German Academic Women. After 1933, Jews were no longer allowed to practice law and Berent worked for various Jewish welfare organizations. She finally fled for Chile in 1939 and the US in 1940, working menial jobs like housekeeping until getting permission to practice law in 1949 and reopening her own law firm in 1951, at the age of sixty-four.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Margarete Berent." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/berent-margarete>.