By Mary Jane Mossman

This comparative examine explores the lives of a few of the ladies who first initiated demanding situations to male exclusivity within the felony professions within the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Their demanding situations came about at a time of substantial optimism approximately revolutionary societal switch, together with new and increasing possibilities for ladies, in addition to quite a few proposals for reforming legislation, criminal schooling, and criteria of felony professionalism. through situating women's claims for admission to the bar inside of this reformist context in numerous jurisdictions, the learn examines the intersection of old principles approximately gender and approximately criminal professionalism on the flip of the 20 th century. In exploring those systemic concerns, the research additionally presents certain examinations of the lives of a few of the 1st ladies legal professionals in six jurisdictions: the U.S., Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia, India, and western Europe. In exploring how person ladies followed various felony arguments in litigated circumstances, or devised specific innovations to beat obstacles to expert paintings, the learn assesses how transferring and contested principles approximately gender and approximately criminal professionalism formed women's possibilities and offerings, in addition to either help for and competition to their claims.

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Extra info for The First Women Lawyers: A Comparative Study of Gender, Law And the Legal Professions

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2 Their experiences, including their connections with the women’s movement and also their expanding opportunities for work as members of the legal profession, often influenced strategies pursued by women elsewhere. In addition, judges in other jurisdictions, faced with women’s claims to become lawyers, often looked to precedents in the United States, even though they were not binding elsewhere. Interestingly, Canadian judges tended to prefer US decisions which held that women were not eligible for admission to the bar without legislative intervention, virtually ignoring the lively debate about the respective roles of courts and legislatures that is evident in the early American cases of the 1870s and 1880s.

Yet, in spite of increasing numbers of university law schools and creative innovations in legal education, not all law schools welcomed women as law students; indeed, women were not even eligible for admission to programmes in several of the most prestigious law schools in the eastern states, including Harvard and Columbia. Although Alice Jordan managed to graduate from Yale Law School in the 1880s, as a result of her persistence in pointing out that there was no written policy which excluded her, Yale expressly R Stevens, above, n 15 at 22, citing AZ Reed, above, n 47 at 442.

See also T Federer, above, n 10; J Hoff, Law, Gender, and Injustice: A Legal History of US Women (New York, University Press, 1991) at 162–3; and A Century of Struggle 27 women were beginning to gain admission to law schools. 12 And Kepley was not the only woman law student at this time. For example, two women were admitted to study law at Washington University in St Louis in 1869. One was Lemma Barkaloo who became the first woman to try a case in an American court in 1870, although she had still not completed her course work when she died a few months later of typhoid fever.

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