Day: March 9, 2015

Chronology: Women and the Legal Profession in Saskatchewan

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By Alan Kilpatrick

In honour of International Women’s Day we have reproduced a chronology of women and the legal profession in Saskatchewan.  This chronology was compiled for a 1988 survey of female graduates from the University of Saskatchewan’s College Of Law.

Mary Cathcart
Mary Cathcart
Elsie Hall
Dorothy Greensmith
Dorothy Greensmith
Tillie Taylor
Tillie Taylor
Mary Batten
Mary Batten






1913 –   M. Burgess became the first women to register as a student at law in Saskatchewan; she did so on the very first day that The Legal Profession Act was amended to allow women to practice law.

1917 –   Mary Cathcart became the first women to be admitted to the Bar in Saskatchewan.

1917 –   Jean Ethel MacLachlan became the first female Justice of the Peace in Canada as well as Saskatchewan.

1920 –   Elsie Hall became the first woman to earn her LLB from the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan.

1948 –   Dorothy Greensmith became the first woman to be named King’s Counsel western Canada.

1960 –   Tillie Taylor became the first female provincial magistrate in Saskatchewan.

1964 –   Mary Batten became the first women to be appointed a District Court Judge in Saskatchewan.

1974 –   Bonita Rourke became the first female law professor on tenure track at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan.

1983 –   Mary Batten became the first female Chief Justice to a Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatchewan.

1984 –   Majorie Gerwing became the first woman to be appointed Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.



Savarese, J, & Keet, M, & Sutherland, K. Survey of Women Graduates from the College of Law. (University of Saskatchewan College of Law, 1988).


Book Review – Women, Law, and Equality

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By Sarah Roussel-Lewis

BkRevWomenlawWomen, Law and Equality: A Discussion Guide
Edited by Kim Brooks and Carissima Mathen
Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010
300 pp


Equality of the sexes has always been quite a hot topic in pop culture and will continue to be as long our culture allows inequality to exist. While the term “feminist” often conjures certain stereotypes, civil discourse on the topic of equality continues to be a constructive way for women and men to work through our shared inequality issues. With International Women’s Day being March 8, we decided to take a closer look at gender issues and what sort of material we carry here at the Law Society Library.

Kim Brooks and Carissima Mathen have gathered several articles and discussion topics in a “book club” format to help readers ease into discussions on women, law and equality. The idea for this collection came out of a very successful event during the Annual General Meeting of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund in 2008, during which groups were told to read articles in advance and participate in “book club” discussions.

From Irwin Law:

Women, Law, and Equality: A Discussion Guide is designed to stimulate and facilitate discussions around the complicated issues of feminism, equality, and social justice among broad spectrum of readers, with varied perspectives and knowledge. The book consists of six Chapters, which first frame the following five topics: Polygamy; Caring for Young Children; Feminism, Law, Cinema; Women and Power; and Women and Migration. Each Chapter provides excerpted and compiled texts and discussion questions intended to stimulate discussion.

Women, Law and Equality comes highly recommended for anyone looking to delve into the common equality issues facing women. Please stop by the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library to check out this valuable legal resource. Call Number: KF 478 .W87 2010 R.


In the Legal Sourcery book review, new, thought-provoking, and notable library resources are reviewed. If you would like to read any of the resources reviewed, please contact our library at or (306) 569-8020. Let us know if there is a book you would like reviewed.