The History and Benefactors of Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
Judge Megan Goldish received her Juris Doctor Degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, in Chicago, Illinois. Because of her active support in promoting women’s interests in the legal field, Judge Megan Goldish was honored with Mary Heftel Hooten Award. She’s also a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI).
In 1914, nine practicing female lawyers established WBAI. Along with helping bring legislation that does common good for the people, the bar aims to promote women lawyers’ welfare and interests in the legal field.
Nettle Rothblum Loew was the first president of WBAI from 1914 to 1915. She is also one of the founders of WBAI. Since then, the bar has seen a steady increase in membership. Due to donations from generous benefactors, the bar has become one of the largest bar associations in Illinois. These benefactors include Cary Ann Bechly, Mary Heftel Hooton, and Katherine Maddux Stimson.
Thanks to Mary Heftel Hooton, WBAI has a permanent home as she bequeathed her estate for the bar. In her honorarium, the bar annually gives Mary Heftel Hooten Award to sitting and retired women judges. Katherine Maddux Stimson has left a legacy for the Women’s Bar Foundation. Cary Ann Bechly made a $100,000 donation to the WBAI. The funds are used to establish law school scholarships in Illinois.