First 100 Years of

Women in Law

This initiative celebrates the hard work of trailblazers, male and female, who fought for a change to the law so women could practise as solicitors in NSW from 1918. 

The First 100 Years gala event honours female trailblazers.

Hundreds of solicitors gathered at NSW Parliament on 26 November to mark the centenary of a change to the law to allow women in NSW to practise as solicitors and in politics.


If you want to know more, read this speech by Justice Virginia Bell AC, who was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge in 1999 and as a Justice of the High Court of Australia in 2009, who explains the dicey history leading to the passing of the Women's Legal Status Act in 1918.

This video recaps the events of the First 100 Years gala celebrated on 26 November at NSW Parliament House. The gala capped off a year of events led by members of the legal profession to recognise the achievements of female lawyers who have pioneered changes to encourage women to practise law.

A new video has been released as part of the First 100 Years Initiative that celebrates the history of women in the law. Supported by Gilbert + Tobin and the Law Society of NSW, the video offers a variety of perspectives from lawyers and law students about women in the law. See the full video below.