Skip to content Exit mobile menu

The Road to 1919

Events article section heading

The Road to 1919

SHARE TwitterFacebookLinkedin

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 heralded women’s long-awaited entry to the legal profession.  What do we actually know about that journey?  How much of that struggle has been recorded?  Where is it recorded?  The ‘First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire’ Symposia seek to unite academics and researchers in this area and explore the journey of those first women lawyers. 

The 2018 meeting will celebrate the centenary of the vote and examine its effect on the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919. It will explore the extent to which it gave impetus to women such as Helena Normanton to make renewed attempts to join the legal profession in 1918.

This is the fourth symposium in the ‘First Women Lawyers Symposia’, which has drawn papers from England, Scotland, Estonia, Canada, America and Australia. The 2018 symposium will be held on Friday 29TH June 2018, at the Palace of Westminster.

Call for papers

Submissions are welcomed from those researching in this area, including anyone with knowledge that will place the struggle for entry to the legal profession in England and Wales in an international context.

Closing date for submission of abstracts is Monday 23rd April 2018. Please email submissions to

'First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire' Timetable

The timetable for the following symposia are as follows:

  • November 2018: Exhibition Temple Church
  • Thursday 7th February 2019: Symposium to be held at Middle Temple (continuing the theme of the road to 1919 and a celebration of the Act which received Royal Assent on 23 December 1919),
  • Saturday 11 January 2020: Celebration Dinner at Middle Temple Hall (centenary of the first women Bar students’ first dinner)
  • June 2020: Symposium: ‘Legacy’
  • June 2021: Symposium: ‘The other women Lawyers that history has, at best forgotten, at worst ignored’
  • 17th November 2022: Celebration of the 1922 Call night at Middle Temple.


For more information about this event please contact

Subscribe to our news and events mailing list for information about upcoming events at St Mary's.