As early as the 1920s, Southwestern alumna Rosalind Goodrich Bates '26 was making her mark as a trailblazer and playing a prominent role in the advancement of women and minorities in the legal profession. While a law student, she was a founder of Iota Tau Tau, which eventually became one of the largest national legal sororities in the country. She later became the first woman to serve on the Southwestern Alumni Association Board of Directors.
A trial lawyer who also practiced international law, Ms. Bates served as a Judge Pro Tem in the Los Angeles Superior Court. She was a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), serving on the Executive Board as a delegate from California, as editor of the National Women Lawyers' Journal and as chair of the organization's annual convention. She was also editor of the legal publications La Abogada (the Female Lawyer) and Lawyers Club Docket.
As a founding member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ms. Bates served as the United States representative to the 1944 convening meeting in Mexico City. She was also president of the California Business Women's Council and the Los Angeles Business Women's Council. Ms. Bates was featured in the 2010 ABA publication, How Women of Color Can Thrive within the Practice of Law, and was included in the Hispanic National Bar Association Commission on Latinas in the Profession, "Las Primeras" project.