Judge Sara Soffel

The graduation in 1916 marked a significant milestone for the law school, as Sara Mathilde Soffel, alongside Marie Grace Clark Gallagher and Lily Virginia Pickersgill, was among the first three women to successfully complete their legal studies. Notably, Soffel was the sole individual among them to complete the entire course of study at the law school, making her the first woman to undergo her legal studies entirely at the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated as the top student in her class, traditionally earning her a cash prize and a teaching appointment; however, she only received the monetary reward.

Soffel later distinguish herself by being the first woman elected to a judgeship in Pennsylvania when she was elected a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County from 1942-1962. In 1939, she was the first woman to run for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Despite her running on both major parties' tickets and garnering 742,000 votes statewide (300,000 more votes than the Democratic runner-up and 28,000 greater than the Republican runner-up), both the Democratic and the Republican party establishments refused her the nomination.