100 Years of Women in Law

Lucinda Acland and Katie Broomfield; Foreword by Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE PC

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 256 8

    Size: 234 x 156 mm

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 160

    In association with:

    Date published: June, 2019

    Date published: December, 2019

    UK £19.95 /US $25


  • Meet the amazing women who have made the legal profession their own
  • The first book to tell the story for a general audience
  • Published in partnership with the First 100 Years, the national campaign set up to celebrate the centenary of the 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act
  • The story is brought to life with photographs, archive material, boxed-out features, anecdotes and quotations


When Helena Normanton was admitted to Middle Temple on 24 December 1919, she became the first woman to enter this traditional male preserve, setting in train a series of firsts for women in law which continue today. The day before, the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act had made it possible, for the first time, for women to enter the legal profession.

Marking the centenary of the Act, First tells the story of women in law in their first 100 years of practice. From early campaigners through to the first women solicitors, barristers, magistrates and judges, the book tells the often untold stories of the pioneers, reformers and influencers who paved the way, revealing the barriers they faced, their challenges and triumphs. It offers a unique insight into how women have made it their way in a profession still dominated by men and looks ahead to the prospects for women in law for the next 100 years.

About the 100 Years

The First 100 Years is a national campaign celebrating the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time. Since 2014, the project has built the first written and video biographies of pioneering women lawyers, creating a timeline of the first 100 years of women in the profession.

The campaign is taking a multi-media approach to this year’s centenary, with a variety of projects including a touring exhibition and a podcast series. The First 100 Years is powered by Spark21, a charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generations of women in the profession, which has also commissioned a first-of-its-kind artwork for the Supreme Court to mark the centenary of women in law.

Author information

Lucinda Acland is host of the First 100 Years Podcast series celebrating the centenary of women in law. She has over 25 years’ experience in the legal sector as a solicitor and litigation support/IT lawyer, a creator of online CPD courses, and as the community manager at Obelisk Support, training and supporting returners back into flexible legal work.

Katie Broomfield is a barrister and historian. Based in the History Department at Royal Holloway, University of London, she is currently researching the opening of the legal profession to women in 1919. She is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the First 100 Years Podcast series and the creator of an exhibition Celebrating the Centenary of Women Lawyers.