: Judge Florence E. Allen seated in her chambers, ca. 1920-1929.
As a young woman, Allen (1884-1966) graduated from Western Reserve University in 1904, and worked as a music critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer while pursuing a graduate degree in political science and constitutional law at Western Reserve University. She received her master's degree in 1908, and soon moved to New York City to work for the New York League for the Protection of Immigrants while earning a law degree from the New York University School of Law.
After receiving her JD, Allen returned to Cleveland, where she gained admittance to the Ohio bar and established her own law practice. She was appointed Assistant Prosecutor of Cuyahoga County in 1919, and was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas the following year. In 1922, Allen won a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Not only was she the first woman to serve on Ohio's highest court, but she was also the first woman to serve on the supreme court of any state.
Allen continued to serve as a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court until 1934, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Once again, Allen established a precedent as the first woman judge in a federal court. She eventually became chief judge of the court, a position she held until her retirement in 1959. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL00128 Subjects
: Ohio--Politics and government; Ohio Women; Law & legal affairs; Judges; Supreme Court justices; Supreme Court of Ohio Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)