A century of first female milestones in Irish legal history

Published in Issue 1 (January/February 2021), Volume 29

1890   Letitia Walkington and Frances Gray conferred Doctor of Laws (LLD).

1905   Margaret Byers (née Morrow) and Henrietta White awarded honorary LLDs.

1920   Frances Kyle and Averil Deverell first students admitted to the King’s Inns.

Helena Early and Dorothea Heron granted leave to be bound as apprentices to solicitors by the court of examiners of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. Eugénie Hoy first to sit for the solicitors’ preliminary examination.

1921    Frances Kyle called to the bar (both Irish jurisdictions).

1922    Averil Deverell first to practise as a barrister.

Helena Early first to be appointed a commissioner for oaths.

1923   Dorothea Heron first to be admitted solicitor and Helena Early first to practise as a solicitor.

1924   Ida Duncan first to appear as a barrister in the Court of Criminal Appeal in England.

1927   Kathleen Burgess called to the bar in London.

Kathleen Donaghy (afterwards Grobel) first solicitor to practise in Northern Ireland.

1928   Margaret Aiken first to practise at the bar in Northern Ireland.

Marion Duggan appointed law reporter by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland.

1930   Kathleen Butler Garrett first American woman admitted to the bar of the Irish Free State.

1931   Kathleen Phelan, Waterford barrister (1927), first to be appointed examiner of titles in the Land Commission.

1941   Frances Elizabeth Moran the first senior counsel (SC).

1968   Moya Quinlan (née Dixon) the first woman elected a council member of the Law Society of Ireland.

1969   Frances Elizabeth Moran made honorary bencher of the King’s Inns.

1974   Margaret Aiken appointed assistant probate registrar in Northern Ireland.

1977   Mella Carroll the first senior counsel (SC) to practise.

1979   Mella Carroll elected a bencher and chair of the Bar Council.

1980   Moya Quinlan the first woman president of the Law Society of Ireland.

1989   Eilis McDermott the first queen’s counsel (QC) in Northern Ireland.

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