New England Law | Boston

Dean Arthur W. MacLean


1908 Arthur MacLean

Arthur MacLean and a group of students review contributions to the Community Fund, 1938. Courtesy of The Boston Public Library, Print Department

A firm believer in making law accessible to all, Arthur MacLean began his career in legal education teaching the sons of working men and immigrants. In 1908, when two women asked to be prepared for the bar exam, he tutored them independently. More followed, and by 1918, 91 women were enrolled and he incorporated Portia Law School. It was the only law school in America established exclusively for women, and began a 100-year tradition of independent thought and academic excellence.

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