A little from here, a little from there

Mrs. Clara Schott

Mrs. Clara Schott

One of the characters in book 4 is a Canadian lawyer who has become disillusioned with the law only a few years after taking the bar. I’m in the midst of creating this woman’s back-story, but as I do I am reading about the true histories of some ground-breaking women like Tmima Cohn of Toronto (1907-1989).

Here’s a bit about her from the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website:

Tmima Cohn was inspired to go into law by her father, a Romanian-born Orthodox Jew who marched in a suffragist parade in Toronto, and by her mother, who was a teacher, Bible scholar, and early advocate of women’s rights. After graduating from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School, she was called to the bar in 1932. She found the profession unwelcoming to a Jewish woman lawyer and like other women of the period, she stopped practising when she had children. As a lay person, she actively promoted environmental issues and the rights of women in the United States where she lived most of her life, by offering her services at free legal clinics, giving talks on women’s rights, and writing a handbook of legal rights for women in Florida in 1976.

She sounds amazing doesn’t she? My own lawyer, who I am naming Clara Schott (after the first female lawyer in Ontario AND the Commonwealth – Clara Brett Martin) is going to be older, and will add some gravitas to the work Annie and Portia must do to free Mr. Coleson from jail.

In my head she looks a bit like Susan Sarandon in The Lovely Bones.

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