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.
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).