Carmel Ebb, believed to be the first female to clerk for a federal appeals court judge, died in Maryland on Feb. 10 at age 94, leaving a legacy as a pioneering lawyer who overcame barriers that made a career in the law difficult for women.

According to her obituary, Ebb—then Carmel Prashker—finished first in her class at Columbia Law School in 1945. Nonetheless, she wrote in an ABA Journal article last year, “female graduates couldn’t expect to be recommended as law clerks to sitting judges, no matter how well their records stacked up against their male classmates.”