|In 1892, Sarah Herring Sorin became the first woman admitted to practice law in Arizona. The Tombstone Courtroom was the site of her oral examination under Judge Richard Sloan which she passed in the 1st Judicial District Court of Arizona Territory. She practiced law with her father in Tombstone from 1894 to 1896; they then moved their law firm to Tucson. In 1898, at the age of 27, Sorin married rancher and mineralogist, Thomas Sorin. She continued with her busy law practice and struggled to balance marriage and home life with an active career.
Sarah Sorin became a highly respected lawyer during a time when few women ventured into the field. Among her clients were the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company, Old Dominion Mining Company and the United Globe Mines. In April of 1906, she became the first female lawyer from Arizona admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Sorin was also the first woman lawyer to argue a case before the highest court without an accompanying male lawyer in 1913. She won the case.
Unfortunately, Sarah became ill with influenza and died in 1914 at the age of 53. Her work inspired Lorna Lockwood who became the first female Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court in 1965.
Visit the Tombstone Courthouse where Sarah Sorin took her oral examination to practice law in Arizona. This site is now a state park located at the corner of Toughnut and 3rd Streets, 2 blocks off Highway 80, in Tombstone.
Sarah Herring Sorin - Courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson
Tombstone Court House - Courtesy of Arizona State Parks