Clara Brett Martin overcame considerable obstacles and hostility to become the first woman to graduate from the University of Toronto with and LLB, and to become the first female barrister in Canada - in fact, in the entire British Empire.

Up to 1950, it continued to be rare for women to attend U of T's law program, and women continued to face obstacles in practicing law.

1915: Women were restricted from practicing law

"I would put within the range of possibilities though by no means a commendable one, the admission of a woman to the profession of solicitor or to that of avoue, but I hold that to admit a woman and more particularly, a married woman as a barrister, that is to say, as a person who pleads cases at the bar before judges or juries in open court and in the presence of the public, would be nothing short of a direct infringement upon public order and a manifest violation of the law of good morals and public decency."

Langstaff v. Bar of Quebec [1915], 47 R.J.Q. 131 at 139, Superior Court (Mr. Justice Saint-Pierre)