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Nettie Rothblum, Class of 1909

Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1887, Nettie Rothblum attended high school in Boston before enrolling in Chicago-Kent College of Law. While a law student in 1908, Rothblum, along with eight female classmates, started the first legal sorority in the United States: Kappa Beta Pi. Upon admission to the bar in 1909, she began her practice in downtown Chicago as “N. Rothblum.” In 1913, Rothblum traveled to Mexico during the Mexican Revolution as an attorney for the United Sugar Companies. In 1914, Rothblum became one of the founders, and the first president, of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, which set its mission “to promulgate, promote, advance and protect the interests of women lawyers in the State of Illinois.” Kappa Beta Pi flourished throughout the United States and abroad, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois has increased its membership to the thousands.