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Female legal dynasties: creating female role models

Dana Denis-Smith gives an insight into how women have followed their mothers into the law over the last 100 years

11 September 2019

A new book due to be published later this year, First:100 Years of Women in Law, aims to unearth some of the untold stories of women in the law over the past 100 years.

One aspect covered in the book is the history of mothers and daughters working in the legal profession – early pioneers who have inspired their daughters, encouraging them to follow in their footsteps.

It tells the story of women like Maud Crofts, born in 1889, who was the first female solicitor to hold a practising certificate.

She was one of the four claimants in Bebb v Law Society [1914] 1 Ch 286, the unsuccessful legal challenge which sought to allow women to be admitted to the Law Society; and paved the way for the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which allowed women to practice the law for the first time.

Maud continued in her career while raising her two children.

Her daughter Rosemary Vaughan and later, her granddaughter Mary Wynn Williams,...

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