Carrie Morrison … demonstrated how a woman could combine a professional career with a public person
On 18 December 1922 Carrie Morrison (1888–1950) became the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Unlike the other women who qualified as solicitors by passing their Law Society Finals in December 1922, Carrie Morrison had no familial legal background. She went on to use her skills as a solicitor to argue for equality between the sexes and through organisations, such as the Women and Children’s Protection Society and the Divorce Law Reform Union, for changes to family law legislation and procedure. She was one of the founding members of the 1919 Club, which became the Association of Women Solicitors.
Like Helena Normanton, Morrison was a persistent advocate of a woman’s right to an independent professional persona: refusing to use her married surname, and successfully petitioning the President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division to be permitted to use a professional rather than a marital status descriptor in official documents. In reply to the question, ‘Do you suffer from any physical difficulty?’ on an official form Morrison replied, ‘No, except being a woman.’
The full version of this landmark is written by Elizabeth Cruickshank.
Ambrose Appelbe Solicitors, ‘Carrie Morrison’ http://pccmail.co.uk/CarrieMorrison.htm
Elizabeth Cruickshank, ‘Building a Profession’ (The Law Society Gazette, 26 June 2003) https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/building-a-profession/39783.article
Elizabeth Cruickshank, ‘Carrie Morrison’ (100 First Hundred Years, 8 September 2015) http://first100years.org.uk/carrie-morrison-2/