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Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law

This book is a compilation of biographies of 50 Canadian women who paved the way for other women in the legal profession.
Publication Language: English

Softcover | 224 pages

In Stock
Published: September 16, 2015
ISBN/ISSN: 9780433487111

Product description

Read the book review by Cowling Legal

"...the book succeeds in its purpose, offering inspiration to new women lawyers in all areas and practices not to be limited, and to continue to strive for change and improvements, for themselves and for other women."

Reviewed by Susan Caird, McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Vancouver)(2016 Canadian Law Library Review, Vol. 41, No. 3)

Women lawyers have made incredible strides over the past 125 years: while once women required special permission to become even student members of the Law Society of Upper Canada, today they hold esteemed positions, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law, authors Julie Soloway and Emma Costante document this inspiring journey through a compilation of biographies of 50 Canadian women whose tenacity challenged the status quo and effected real change for women in the legal profession.

Women who made a difference
Organized into five distinct temporal waves, this book takes a close look at the women who paved the way for new generations in the legal profession:

  • The first chapter introduces the reader to the true torchbearers, those women who were the first to push the boundaries: the first to attend law school, to be called to the bar and to argue before the Supreme Court of Canada
  • The second chapter focuses on the 1970s, a time of growing recognition of women as individuals with distinct needs that vary according to their socio-economic status and communities
  • The third chapter examines the 1980s as a decade when women sought and won constitutional protection for their rights
  • The fourth chapter considers the 1990s – an era when women staked their claim at the top of the corporate ladder and in law firms across the country
  • The fifth chapter discusses the new millennium as a time when women in law have grappled with the issue of balance, while developing strategies for juggling families, community involvement and their professional lives

Valuable insight
Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law provides a glimpse into the lives of renowned female lawyers over the past century and the factors that drove them to be agents of social change. In addition to being essential and inspirational reading for Canadian lawyers and law students, this book will be a welcome addition to any personal or professional library and a cornerstone for future scholarly work on the topic.


Featured Authors

Table of contents


Chapter 1 – Trailblazers: Leading the Way
Clara Brett Martin; Emily Murphy; Annie Langstaff; Vera Parsons; Helen Alice Kinnear; Margaret Hyndman; Edra Isles Sanders Ferguson; Marguerite Elizabeth Ritchie; Réjane Laberge-Colas; Marie-Claire Kirkland

Chapter 2 – The 1970s: New Voices
Gretta Wong Grant; Marion Ironquill Meadmore; Delia Opekokew; Constance Glube; Claire L’Heureux-Dubé; Mary Eberts; Rosalie Silberman Abella; Daphne Dumont; Constance Backhouse; Corrine Sparks

Chapter 3 – The 1980s: Great Legal Minds
Mary Dawson; Marilou McPhedran; Patricia Monture (“Aywahande”); Roberta Louise Jamieson; Renée Dupuis; Jeanne Sauvé; Gisèle Côté-Harper; Bertha Wilson; Laura Legge; Marjorie Bowker

Chapter 4 – The 1990s: Taking the Reins
Kim Campbell; Anne McLellan; Cynthia Petersen; Susan Ursel; Kathryn Feldman; Jean Augustine; Louise Arbour; Helen Mamayaok Maksagak; Margaret Bloodworth; Beverley McLachlin

Chapter 5 – The Millennium: Juggling it All
Jennifer Stoddart; Bartha Maria Knoppers; Jean Teillet; Nathalie Des Rosiers; Mayo Moran; Poonam Puri; Moya Greene; Sheila A. Murray; Louise Charron; Marie Henein

Conclusion – Looking Ahead: Words for our Daughters