It's been over a century since the first female barrister in Canada - nay, the entire British Empire - graduated from U of T with an LLB. Starting with Clara Brett Martin - who persisted with her application to the Law Society of Upper Canada even after it deemed the word "persons" in its governing statutes could in no way be interpreted to include women - these alumni blazed a trail right up to the Supreme Court, where the Hon. Rosalie Abella was sworn in on October 2, 2004. To borrow a phrase from her inaugural speech, Abella persisted through law's "inhibiting power of tradition" to become the first Jewish woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada bench. How they did it is a study in persistence and courage, not to mention humour.

Text by Margaret Webb and staff.

See also a video (2006) featuring remarkable women graduates who are trailblazers in the legal profession discussing their experiences:  .wmv format, .mov format, or on YouTube.