I am thankful to my Mom, Anna Ker, on International Women’s Day. She was the first woman to graduate from the University of Toronto Law School, stood second in her class and was unable to get a job because she was a woman! She was chosen as one of the Trailblazers by U of T for her courage, guts and determination. Thanks Mom!
“I was the only woman in my law class, and the only woman in the entire law school for the three years I was there. After we graduated, the men all got articling jobs right away, and I didn’t. But we didn’t call it discrimination then, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.” Anna Bacon Ker ’52 (1930 – 2006)
Anna Bacon Ker was just 19 years old and on a full scholarship at U of T when she read in the Varsity student newspaper that a new law school was opening. Determined to secure a place in its first class that fall, she marched over to the now legendary Dean Caesar Wright’s office to “join the Faculty of Law.” When she was met with a disapproving look and his curt response “I don’t think so,” Anna was undeterred. She quickly retorted, “When you see my marks you’ll think so.” Returning to his office the next day, transcripts in hand, she was admitted on the spot. For the next three years, Anna was the only woman in the law school, and the only woman to graduate in 1952. Despite initial difficulty securing employment in the legal profession, Anna had a long and successful career working for the Federal Government Appeals Board, the Provincial Government Electoral Commission, and finally the Refugee and Immigration Bureau. She was also a mother of two and wife to David.