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Law and change: Scottish legal heroes
Law and change: Scottish legal heroes

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Madge Easton Anderson

In 1920 Madge Easton Anderson was the first woman in Scotland and the UK to qualify as a lawyer and was the first woman to graduate from Glasgow University with a degree in law. Some women had graduated from the Faculty of Law at Edinburgh University previously but had been prohibited from practising as lawyers.

Madge Easton began working as an apprentice law agent in May 1917. In 1920 she was admitted as a law agent in Scotland (the Law Society of Scotland was only created in 1949). Her application for admission as a law agent was initially refused, because she had begun her three years of training before the passing of the Act and her indenture of training had not been properly registered (her registration was refused in 1917 because she was a woman). She appealed to the Court of Session and her case was heard in December 1920.The court criticised the English terminology used in the Act and upheld her appeal.