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Helen Z.M. Rodgers

Death: 1960

In 1899 Helen Z. M. Rodgers and Cecilia B. Wiener were the first two women to graduate from the University of Buffalo Law School.  In the final rankings, Rodgers finished first out of a class of 46 people.  Rodgers was the first woman to practice law in Buffalo and the first woman to argue a case before the New York Court of Appeals.  In 1919 she argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Rodgers was associated with the firm of Moot, Sprague, Brownell and Marcy from 1906-1940.  She was an unsuccessful congressional candidate in 1936. 

Rodgers and Wiener practiced law for 20 years before they were allowed to vote.  The women  remained friends throughout their careers and both worked to expand the rights of women and children.  Both women died in 1960.  Tweny years later Rodgers' papers were found in a basement storeroom at 1141 Delaware Avenue, her last residence.  The papers are now in the University Archives.

Affiliation(s): Alumnus
Record Group(s): 30
Biographical File Contains:
  • Photographs