Bates never practiced law, but she did graduate from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1877 and a Doctor of Laws degree in 1896. The photo above is of her 1896 graduating law school class.
According to the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, Bates became chair of the Committee on Domestic Relations of the National Council of Women, an organization of over one million members. She was an active member of the Lend-A-Hand Club, the Woman’s Literary Club, the Arundell Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Her involvement in the club life of American women led to her appointment by the National Federation of Women’s Clubs as a delegate to the International Council of Women in London in 1899. At the council, Bates delivered a paper entitled “The Study of Law for Women,” which was considered highly progressive at that time. Her reputation even earned her the opportunity to speak with Queen Victoria during an informal afternoon tea about her ideas on the state of American women. Bates traveled extensively, promulgating her views on women’s rights and donating her talents, wealth, and passion to the service of womanhood.
Posted by Samantha Meinke