For women’s history month, our display of books and other resources from the collection near the library’s entrance are joined by some additional signage spotlighting the trailblazing women at the University of Georgia School of Law. We have shared items from the archives in previous posts to help illustrated our school’s earliest diverse graduates, including Edith E. House (LL.B. 1925 for whom our longstanding House Lecture Series is named) and Sharon N. Tucker (J.D. 1974 who was our school’s first Black female student to earn a Juris Doctorate). Both of these individuals are a part of the “Milestones in Diversity” physical and digital exhibits featuring a visual canvas timeline. Today, we want to expand this history to include four other early women graduates: Gussie Brooks (1925), Dorothy Levy (1926), Mathilda Upson (1926), and Margaret Wall (1930).

Gussie Brooks, LL.B. 1925


The most well-known female graduate from University of Georgia School of Law has already been mentioned: Edith House. House graduated with an LL.B. in the class of 1925. Born in 1903 in Winder, GA she stood out for her ability to compete with her male counterparts so well that she event took on the nickname “Pete” while in law school. House may have been successful in the legal field, with a long career that led to her becoming the first woman to be appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, but she was technically the second female law graduate, since alphabetically her name came after her classmate Gussie Brooks. Brooks was born in Athens, GA and was active in Moot Court. A note from the 1925 yearbook states that Brooks was “clever and witty” and that more than once she “outwitted her opponent in the vast halls of the Moot Court.” She was also a member of the Grady Speaking Club and Pioneer Club.

Dorothy Levy & Mathilde Upson, LL.B. 1926

In the class immediately following Brooks and House, the third and fourth female law students graduated in 1926. The third graduate was Dorothy Ida Levy, fondly referred to by classmates as “Dot”, she was from Augusta, GA. The note in the 1926 Pandora Yearbook states that she has “the face of a Dresden Doll, and a mind of scintillating brilliance”. The fourth graduate was Mathilde Upson, from Athens, GA with a yearbook note of “a destined lawyer for her state…” and “socially popular” she was a member of the Pan-Hellenic Council. 


Margaret Wall, LL.B. 1930


The law school’s fifth female graduate did not grace another class until four years later, when Margaret McEachern Wall from Richland, GA recieved her LL.B. degree in 1930. Margaret was also a member of the Pan-Hellenic Council as well as the Pioneer Club. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be until 1971 that the law school would admit African American women to study, and 1974 before the first woman of color, Sharon Nyota Tucker, would graduate with a J.D.

Learn More About Our Graduates From The “Milestones in Diversity” Exhibit

Many other individuals identified as the first of diverse backgrounds are included in the Rotunda exhibit, located on the third floor of Hirsch Hall. For more information on our earliest diverse graduates and to see examples of their class photographs visit the law school’s Hirsch Hall Rotunda where our exhibit highlighting their legacy continues to unfold. You can also explore the digital exhibit by visiting:

You can also learn more by reading our related blog posts: