The first 100 female solicitors

26/11/2019

Help us to celebrate the first 100 women solicitors who qualified between 1923 and 1950.

female solicitors

Celebrating a Century

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act was enacted on 23 December 1919, providing that:

"A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society (whether incorporated by Royal Charter or otherwise), and a person shall not be exempted by sex or marriage from the liability to serve as a juror......"

Following this Act women began to join the various professions. The first woman, Mary Dorothea Heron, was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors on 17 April 1923. It took a further 27 years before the 100th woman, Mary Matthews, was admitted on 7 July 1950.

The first 100 female solicitors

We are looking for your assistance in compiling a digital archive celebrating the first 100. Law Society Library staff have examined the handwritten Roll Books and compiled the names of these pioneering women and the firms they were associated with.

If you can help with a short biography and a photograph it will help us to build a picture of how women contributed to the profession during this period.

You may send biographical details to Mary Gaynor by Friday 13 December.