Home Featured News A legacy of Wisconsin firsts

A legacy of Wisconsin firsts

by Jan Schroder

Mabel Watson Raimey (1895-1986) enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study English and become a teacher; when she graduated in 1918, it is believed she was the first African American woman to do so.

After being fired from her first teaching job after just three days (when the school discovered she was Black), Raimey enrolled at Marquette University Law School. She worked as a law clerk by day and attended classes at night) to become the first Black woman to graduate from UW-Madison.

In 1927, Raimey became the first Black woman to practice law in the Badger State.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Wisconsin 100

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The Wisconsin 100