03/08/2021

Categories: Law, Undergradute

Famous Female Lawyers Who Are Utterly Inspiring

Interested in studying law? These famous female lawyers are the inspiration you need to apply for a law degree.

Women working in law is at an all-time high, but studies show that there’s still widespread gender bias in the industry. It’s not just less pay and fewer promotions either. Female lawyers (particularly women of colour) are more likely to be interrupted, get mistaken for non-lawyers, and are expected to do more office housework.

Furthermore, the latest Financial Times research indicates women are still missing from top ranks of law firms. So it’s a good job there are plenty of inspiring lawyers out there who are blazing the trail. Here are some of the most inspiring lawyers who have made their mark in history.

Madge Easton Anderson

The UK’s first ever female solicitor was Madge Easton Anderson, who graduated in Glasgow and followed on to work as an apprentice law agent at the practice of Maclay Murray & Spens in 1920.

She was the first woman allowed to qualify as a solicitor following a successful petition to the Court of Session (Scotland’s highest civil court). But what make’s Anderson one of the most inspiring lawyers of all time is her dedication to helping others during her life.

She was known for volunteering free legal advice to residents in the local community who could not afford to hire a solicitor to deal with their affairs. And her compassion inspired the later launch of the Free Legal Dispensary at the University of Glasgow.

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Helena Normanton

When it comes to breaking barriers, Helena Normanton comes out on top. She was a woman of many firsts in her line of work. She was the first female barrister to practice in England in 1922, and just a few years later (in 1925) she became the first female lawyer to work on a case in the United States.

By 1948, she became the first woman to lead the prosecution in a murder trial in the UK.  Then another year on and Normanton became one of the first two women (the other being Rose Heilbron) to be appointed as King's Counsel.

 

Funke Abimbola

Fast-forwarding to modern times, we simply have to mention Funke Abimbola, a female lawyer who was told she was “too competitive for a black woman”.

But over a decade later, she headed up the legal team in the world’s largest biotech organisation, and became the most senior black lawyer in her sector, while also juggling life as a single mother. In 2017, she was awarded an MBE for her amazing contribution in helping to diversify the legal profession.

Today, she is a multi-award-winning solicitor, business leader and diversity campaigner, and her work should be acknowledged for continuously pushing to remove barriers that prevent progression for women and ethnic minorities.

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Gabrielle Turnquest

In 2013, Gabrielle Turnquest became the youngest person in 600 years to qualify as a barrister in the UK. This marks an amazing milestone for women in law, giving the world a reminder that women are constantly breaking the mould.

Originally from the Bahamas and having grown up in Florida, Turnquest was a prodigy in the US, attending Liberty University in Virginia at the age of 16, and achieving her graduate diploma in law at 17.

Turnquest moved to London and became the youngest lawyer to be called to the Bar of England and Wales at the age of 18. The average course graduate is around 27 years old!

 

Do these women inspire you? The University of Bolton’s law degree courses are designed to nurture your skills and talent, with a core focus on inclusivity and diversity. We rank No.2 in the UK for Social Inclusion, as well as No.2 in the UK (and No.1 in the North West) for Teaching Quality and Student Experience in Law Courses.*

To find out more about applying to start studying in September 2021, see our available courses on the University of Bolton’s website.

Or if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)1204 903 394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk.

 

*The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

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