Celebrating Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month. It is important to remember the struggles and accomplishments of women. Women today stand on the shoulders of the women before them, who blazed the trail. Their struggles created opportunities for future generations of women to lead.
It has been 91 years since the first woman, Sara M. Soffel (Allegheny County), served as a judge in Pennsylvania! Today, 30% of Pennsylvania’s active judges are women. There are currently three women serving on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The majority of the judges now serving on the Superior Court (71%) and Commonwealth Court (67%) are women.
The Honorable Nancy L. Butts is among the thirteen women currently serving as president judges in the Courts of Common Pleas. Judge Butts, elected in 1995, is the first woman in Lycoming County to become a county judge. She was joined on the bench by the Honorable Joy Reynolds McCoy in 2010.
Lycoming County’s legal community has a long history of trailblazing women. Through perseverance and determination Louise Chatham, our county’s first woman attorney, opened her law practice in Williamsport, at 39 West Fourth Street, in 1924. You can read more about Attorney Chatham here: https://www.lycolaw.org/latest-news/news/articles/2016/chatham
Today, women play key leadership roles in the Lycoming Law Association and the Pennsylvania Judiciary, but it’s important to remember that the 19th Amendment, permitting women to vote, an essential right, was ratified a mere 100 years ago.