Without a diploma, Lockwood could not gain admittance to the District of Columbia Bar. After a year she wrote a letter to the President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, appealing to him as president ex officio of the National University Law School. She asked him for justice, stating she had passed all her courses and deserved to be awarded a diploma. In September 1873, within a week of having sent the letter, Lockwood received her diploma. She was 43 years old.
Lockwood was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, although several judges told her they had no confidence in her. This was a reaction she repeatedly had to overcome. When she tried to gain admission to the Maryland Bar Association, a judge lectured her and told her that God Himself had determined that women were not equal to men and never could be. When she tried to respond on her own behalf, he said she had no right to speak and had her removed from the courtroom” Id.