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Rose Heilbron - 100 Years of Women in Law

A woman of many firsts, Rose is our first inspirational woman in law. A truly amazing woman that has paved the way for women in law notably female barristers and judges. Rose achieved an extraordinary amount throughout her career and is someone we can all admire and look up to for those achievements. Below you will find a brief timeline of everything she achieved and although brief it’s very easy to see the impact that she has had on the path for modern women in law.

In 1935 Rose was one of the first two women to gain a first class degree in law from Liverpool University.

In 1936 Rose became the first woman to be awarded a scholarship at Gray’s Inn.

In 1939 Rose was called to the bar.

In 1949 Rose and Helena Normanton became the first women appointed King’s Counsel at the English Bar (she was only 34).

In 1950 she became the first woman to lead an English murder case which led to the Daily Mirror naming her ‘Woman of the Year’.

In 1956 she became the first appointed female recorder.

In 1972 she became the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey.

In 1973 she became leader of the northern circuit.

In 1974 she became the second woman High Court Judge.

In 1985 she became the first woman treasurer at Gray’s Inn.

For anyone wanting to find out more, below we have attached a short video with her daughter Hilary Heilbron QC discussing Rose!

Also, the information used has been gathered from the amazing First 100 Years Project. The First 100 Years is a project supported by the Law Society, Bar Council and CILEx, charting the journey of women in law since 1919. There’s a wide expanse of information on their website and Youtube channel so make sure to check them out!


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