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Jeanne Chauvin - 1st Woman Lawyer
Jeanne Chauvin

Jeanne Chauvin presented herself on November 24, 1897 to take the oath. Faced with the refusal of the Paris Court of Appeal, she fought to obtain a change in the law and was the first woman to plead in France.

The legal battle led by Jeanne Chauvin to allow women to take the oath.

Legally, the entry of women into the profession of lawyer in France took place in 1900, thanks to the adoption of the law of December 1, 1900, the purpose of which was to allow women with legal license degrees to take the oath. lawyer and to practice this profession .

Daughter of a notary and then orphan at the age of sixteen, Jeanne Chauvin obtained two baccalaureates, in Letters and Sciences, and two licenses, in Philosophy and Law in 1890, thus becoming the second woman in France to hold a degree in the legal field. With a doctorate in law two years later, she became the first woman in France to pass this exam. Jeanne Chauvin is also devoting her doctorate to professions accessible to women and to existing legal inequalities.

Subsequently, Jeanne Chauvin taught in several Parisian high schools for young girls, and professor of law she encouraged them to pursue legal careers.

As early as 1897, Jeanne Chauvin presented herself to the Paris Court of Appeal to take the oath as a lawyer. But this was quickly refused to him because the law then did not authorize women to exercise the profession of lawyer, exclusively male. It was only three years later, thanks to the law of 1900 which authorized women to plead that Jeanne Chauvin was sworn in as a lawyer at the Paris bar. Jeanne Chauvin thus became, in 1907, the second woman to be sworn in after Olga Petit, but the first lawyer in France to plead.

Iconic businesses & famous clients of Jeanne Chauvin

Jeanne Chauvin is devoting her doctoral defense to the Historical Study of Professions Accessible to Women. In particular, she asserts that the influence of the Bible and the Catholic religion have increased legal inequalities between men and women. Jeanne Chauvin has therefore devoted her career to claiming equality for women both in the field of education and in access to private and public professions.

In her feminist struggle, Jeanne Chauvin asked parliamentarians, as early as 1893, to grant married women the right to be witnesses both in public and private acts and to recognize the capacity of married women to have access to their products. their personal industries or their work.

Jeanne Chauvin also wishes to obtain, with the help of her brother Emile, the modification of the law aimed at excluding women from the legal profession. Emile Chauvin, was then a lawyer, fourth secretary of the Conference, associate professor of the Faculties of Law and deputy for Seine-et-Marne. Their actions will lead to the adoption of the 1900 law authorizing women with a law degree to be a lawyer.


During the defense of her doctorate, the feminist ideas of Jeanne Chauvin were not unanimous and were contested. When presenting themselves before the jury, students invade the room singing La Marseillaise and sow confusion. The defense of Jeanne Chauvin is then postponed.


Authentic pioneer, Jeanne Chauvin was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor on January 19, 1926 by Raymond Poincaré, then lawyer, first secretary of the conference and President of the French Republic.

Jeanne Chauvin
Jeanne Chauvin
Jeanne Chauvin
“As a creature of God, woman has the right to the fullest development of her spirit; in the name of Eternity, we owe him the light. "
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