Victorian London - Publications - Humour - Punch - Female Barristers


    AN attempt is made every now and then, by an energetic lady, the wife of an incarcerated barrister, to appear in the courts of law, and argue before the judges. Whenever this lady presents herself in counsel's place to make a motion, a terrible commotion is the consequence. The learned judges are naturally opposed to the principle of hearing ladies in court; for the precedent would be dangerous indeed, as a fair pleader would, as a matter of course, make her own rule absolute. A female bar would, no doubt, soon restore to Westminster Hall its reputation for eloquence, and the name of "utter barrister" would become appropriate indeed to a sex remarkable for its abundance of volubility of utterance. The honours of the profession would  be sought after very eagerly, for every female barrister would remain a "junior" as long as she could; and the idea of being ranked as a "senior" would be quite insupportable. Perhaps, however, the offer of a "silk gown" might occasionally be found irresistible, though we do not see how the forensic costume could be preserved, inasmuch as a public avowal that she wears a wig could never be expected from a female advocate.

Punch, Jul.-Dec. 1850