Rose D. LaMendola, 89, longtime judge, trailblazer and inspiration for women

Jul 31, 2019 434

BY: Anne Neville

The first profile of Rose D. LaMendola published in The Buffalo Evening News, on Oct. 14, 1955, had the headline "New Woman Lawyer Tried Teaching for One Year First." The "25-year-old brunette" had graduated from the University at Buffalo Law School and was one of two women statewide to pass the bar exam, along with 98 men.

From the UB Law School faculty, she said, "There was no discrimination, but no favors either. We had to compete with the men."Rose LaMendola became an attorney, a trailblazer and role model for women. The law office she opened with Clara Taylor Yeager in 1955 was the first all-woman law practice in Western New York. In 1974 she became the first female county court judge in the state. In 1987, as senior Erie County judge, she presided over the first televised criminal trial in Buffalo.

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