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Rosemary Scott papers

Identifier: Collection 390

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a variety of materials relating to Scott's work with various legal commissions for the State of Michigan. The materials span the years from 1967 until 1976. The agencies covered are the following: Michigan Commission on Crime, Delinquency and Criminal Administration; Office of Criminal Justice Programs, Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice; Juvenile Problems Task Force; Juvenile Service Education Study Committee; and the Office of Youth Services. The collection is primarily made up of meeting minutes, annual reports, project summaries, and comprehensive plans for law enforcement and criminal justice. The collection is particularly strong in materials relating to youth issues and juvenile justice in the state of Michigan. The bulk of the materials are from the Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice from 1971 to 1973.


  • 1967-1976


Biographical / Historical

Rosemary Scott was born in Detroit in 1922. She attended Lincoln High School in Ferndale and later went on to the University of Michigan where she earned her undergraduate degree in American and English History, a secondary teacher's certificate, and a Master's degree in History. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Mortarboard. She also received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan in 1946 in which she was the only female in her class. While in law school she taught high school classes to financially support her education. In 1946 she was appointed legal research clerk in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following year she opened her own practice on the seventh floor at 201 Monroe Avenue NW in downtown Grand Rapids. During the first year she practiced law during the day and worked the night shift at American Seating. She was a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the American Bar Association. She became the first female chair of the Junior Bar Section of the State Bar of Michigan in 1951. She was also the chair of the State Bar's Committee on Juvenile Problems from 1966-79 and 1981-1988.

She received numerous awards and honors throughout her career. She was elected as a member of the Citizen's Advisory Council, Kent County Juvenile Court beginning in 1964. In 1970 she was awarded the Catholic Social Services Meritorious Service Award and in 1971 she received the University of Michigan Distinguished Alumni Service Award. In addition, the Grand Rapids Bar Association gave her its first Distinguished Service Award in 1989. Beginning in 1949 she was appointed by Governor Williams to the Michigan Youth Commission on which she would serve for the next two decades. She was appointed chair to the Commission by Governor Romney from 1964 to 1967 and by Governor Milliken from 1967 to 1971. She also served as a member of the Michigan Crime Commission and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Commission. In addition, she was an active member of the Grand Rapids Urban League. In 1972 she co-founded the Grand Rapids Civic Ballet. She served as the Ballet's president from 1972 to 1974 and executive secretary from 1975 to 1988.

Scott was considered by many to be a pioneer who helped pave the way for women in the legal field in Grand Rapids. She was a recognizable figure about town who was often seen wearing her trademark hat and gloves. Scott finally retired from her practice in March 2002. She passed away on May 24, 2005.


2.5 Linear Feet (Six boxes)

Language of Materials



Rosemary Scott (1922-2005) was an attorney who practiced in Grand Rapids from 1947 until 2002. She was known as the first female lawyer to open her own practice in Grand Rapids. She was appointed to the Michigan Youth Commission from 1949 to 1969, and was appointed by Governors Romney and Milliken as its Chair from 1964 to 1971. In addition, she served as a member of the Michigan Crime Commission and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Commission. This collection contains reports, meeting minutes, and project summaries from various commissions on which she served.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Rosemary Scott, accession number 1986.286.

Finding aid for the Rosemary Scott papers
Benjamin Boss
May 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Rapids History Center Repository

Grand Rapids Public Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503 USA