Ada Emily Evans

Ada Emily Evans (1872-1947), a former teacher, pioneered the opening of the legal profession to women; she wished to counter the prejudices of the all-male legal system. In 1902 at the University of Sydney she was the first woman in Australia to earn a Bachelor of Laws. New South Wales legislation in 1918 enabled her to be admitted to the Bar in 1921. [Extracted from J. M. O’Brien, `Evans, A. E.’, Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, 2006


26 December 1902

First female law graduate

Ada Emily Evans is the first woman to receive a law degree in Australia (from Sydney University), but she is unable to practise until 1921 after successfully lobbying for the enactment of the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW). In 1905 Grata Flos Matilda Greig becomes the first woman admitted to practise law in Australia.


The jubilee book of the Law School of the University of Sydney, 1890–1940, page 62.