Lillian Baker, 92, Burlco's first female lawyer admitted to bar

Lillian Baker
Lillian Baker
Posted: July 17, 2013

Lillian Baker, 92, of Burlington City, who in 1945 became the first woman admitted to the bar in Burlington County, died Saturday, July 13, of respiratory failure at Samaritan Hospice in Mount Holly.

The former Lillian Dubrow graduated from Burlington City High School in 1937, and the College of South Jersey two years later.

In 1943, long before women routinely studied law, she earned a law degree from South Jersey Law School - now Rutgers Law School. She practiced briefly with a local attorney and then with her sister, Florence Steel, also an attorney.

Her son, ophthalmologist Shelby A. Baker, said Mrs. Baker ran her husband's eye practice in Burlington City for many years. Her husband is Dr. Leonard Baker.

Before that, she operated a children's clothing store that also sold baby items, her son said.

Mrs. Baker was active in the community as a member of the Burlington County Chapter of Deborah Hospital for 45 years.

"That was very important to her," her son said.

She served on the hospital's board and assisted in the formation of the local chapter. She was the chapter's president on three occasions.

She was a past president and vice president of the Temple B'Nai Israel Sisterhood in Burlington City. She was also active with the National Woman's League, serving as vice president and parliamentarian of the Southern New Jersey Branch. She also was a board member of the league at the national level, her family said.

She served a three-year term on the South Jersey Woman of the Year Committee.

Surviving, besides her son, husband, and sister, are a granddaughter. A daughter and brother died earlier.

Services were Monday.

Memorial contributions may be made to Samaritan HealthCare & Hospice, 175 Madison Ave., Mount Holly, N.J. 08060.

Condolences to the family may be offered at

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or

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