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First 100 Years: Celebrating the centenary of women in law

Once upon a time, women were unable to qualify as solicitors.

It sounds like a fairy tale, but it was only in 1919 (just one hundred years ago!) that the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act was passed, allowing pioneering women to pass their law exams and become lawyers.

From this point onwards, aspiring lawyers like Eliza Orme, who in 1888 became the first woman to gain a law degree, were officially able to practise law.

The First 100 Years history project is marking this year’s anniversary with a digital museum telling the story of women in the legal profession. The project is supported by the Law Society, the Bar Council and CILEx.

2019 also marks the adoption of The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by the UN in 1979, which aims to end discrimination against females. Last year (2018) marked the 100th year since women achieved the right to vote.

Today is International Women’s Day and at Emsleys Solicitors, we’re proud that 91% of our team are women, including lawyers, senior management and support staff. 21% of lawyers at our firm (including trainees and apprentices) are female and women represent 67% of our management team.

Emsleys has been a member of the Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter since its launch in 2009 and we are committed to promoting diversity and avoiding discrimination of any kind.

International Women's Day 2019
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