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Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein

Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein became the first woman lawyer allowed to practice in Virginia in 1920 and went on to create a state bar association for women. Lovenstein was raised in North Carolina and studied at Duke University for two years, then left to care for her ailing mother while studying with tutors. She married law student Benjamin Lovenstein in 1907. While Benjamin had a successful law career at first, after suffering financial losses, the couple moved to Richmond to be closer to his family. From 1917–1920, Rebecca Lovenstein was a housewife by day and law student by night, finally being admitted to the Virginia bar in 1920, after the passage of the nineteenth amendment. She began practicing out of a basement office in her house, taking over her husband’s practice in 1923 when he became ill. The couple worked together for several years, since Benjamin was able to see clients but not practice in court, and Rebecca tended him until his death in 1956, continuing to practice law herself until Alzheimer’s forced her into retirement.

More on: Women's Rights, Law
More on Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein
Date of Birth
May 25, 1888
Place of Birth
Date of Death
February 10, 1971

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein." (Viewed on November 14, 2018) <>.


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