First Women Lawyers in Great Britain & the Empire – London, UK

St. Mary's University Twickenham London

St. Mary’s University Twickenham London continues its series of symposia on the First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire, with ‘Individual Struggles of the “Successful” – Williams, Morrison, Normanton and the rest of the 1922 cohort’ June 29, 2017. Abstracts (max 300 words, plus very short bio) are due by April 7, 2017. Please contact Dr Judith Bourne, judith.bourne [at]

Papers are particularly welcomed from contributors on: Monica Mary Geikie Cobb (first woman to hold a brief), Auvergne Doherty, Naomi Constance Wallace, Elsie May Wheeler, Lillian Maud Dawes, Beatrice Honor Davy, any of the first women solicitors and first women lawyers from other countries in order to place the campaigns in England and Wales in an international context.

The purpose of the symposia is to produce a comprehensive history of women’s struggle to enter the legal profession within a publication of collected essays arising out of papers given throughout the symposia (this collection is under review with Routledge, and if you would like to contribute please email me).  2016 saw the publication of the symposia first output when we self-published the “First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire Record”.   

Future events in the series:

  • June 2018 symposium: “The Road to 1919,” celebrating the anniversary of the vote and looking at its effect on the road to the 1919 legislation.
  • February 7, 2019 continuing the theme of the road to 1919 and a celebration of the Act which received Royal Assent on December 23 1919.
  • Celebration Dinner at Middle Temple Hall Saturday January 11 2020 (centenary of the first women Bar students’ first dinner) and exhibition opening.
  • June 2020 symposium: ‘Legacy’
  • June 2021 Symposium: ‘The other women lawyers that history has, at best forgotten, at worst ignored’
  • Nov. 17, 2022 Celebration of the November 1922 Call night

About the author

Reference librarian, University of Washington School of Law