Media Advisory: UB Law School honors pioneering women lawyers

Local scholars and officials will present tributes to groundbreaking local attorneys

Release Date: November 3, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The path-breaking work of five female lawyers will be honored at a celebration of Western New York Pioneers in the Law, a tribute to the local traditional of women attorneys and their leadership.

When: 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5.

Where: 106 O’Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus.

Who: Ranking legal figures including the Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr., senior associate judge for the State Court of Appeals; Rep. Brian Higgins; UB Law School Interim Dean James A. Gardner; and others will present tributes to five pioneering legal women with Western New York ties.

The program is also sponsored by the Historical Society of the New York Courts and Buffalo law firm Phillips Lytle.

In Honor of: The five historical figures in the advancement of women in the law are:

  • Belva B. Lockwood, the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court (presented by Hon. Erin M. Peradotto of the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial District).
  • Kate Stoneman, the first woman admitted to practice in New York (presented by Michelle Henry, Chautauqua County historian).
  • Helen Z.M. Rodgers, the first female graduate of the Buffalo Law School (presented by Bernadette Gargano, a research and writing lecturer at the UB Law School).
  • Charlotte Smallwood-Cook, who as Wyoming County district attorney from 1950-53 was the first female district attorney in New York (presented by Michael B. Powers, a Phillips Lytle partner and Clarence town justice).
  • Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress; Chisholm represented New York’s 12th District from 1969 to 1983 (presented by Rep. Brian Higgins).

Who (Part II): Also speaking will be Hon. Paula L. Feroleto, administrative judge for the 8th Judicial District. The program will be moderated by Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt, a former state Court of Appeals judge who serves as president of the Historical Society of the New York Courts.

The state Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law will also build a display highlighting 10 women lawyers who made significant contributions in the legal profession after overcoming gender barriers and, in some cases, racial discrimination, paving the way for generations of women attorneys.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is available at

Media Contact Information

Charles Anzalone
News Content Manager
Education, Educational Opportunity Center, Law,
Academies, Honors College, Student Activities

Tel: 716-645-4600