It took a week after Obiter called attention to the omission, but we are delighted to note that the excellent First 100 Years timeline of notable women lawyers now mentions the achievement of one-time barrister Margaret Thatcher in rising to the post of prime minister in 1979. Of course we could quibble that the timeline merely states that Thatcher ‘read for the bar’ rather than, perhaps, ‘was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1954’, but we’ll leave that corner for others to fight.
The campaign could face another inclusion dilemma next May, if the Republic of France elects its first woman president. The National Front’s candidate Marine Le Pen practised law in Paris between 1992 and 1998, including being called to defend foreigners accused of being illegally in the country. ‘Bossy and pugnacious’, is one colleague’s memory of her style. Perhaps the timeline will be content to record France’s first woman lawyer: Jeanne Chauvin (pictured), who won the right to practise her profession in 1907 – 15 years ahead of England and Wales.