Google Doodle Honours Cornelia Sorabji, India's First Female Lawyer

Tara Khandelwal
Nov 15, 2017 08:02 IST


Today’s Google Doodle honours the 151st birth anniversary of India’s first female advocate, Cornelia Sorabji. She is shown in her advocate’s attire in front of the Allahabad High Court.

Here are a few things to know about her:

Cornelia Sorabji was born in 1866 in Nashik. She was one of the nine children of Reverend Sorabji Karsedji and Francina Ford. Her father was a pioneer of women’s education. Her mother also established many schools for girls in Pune.


Cornelia Sorabji was the first woman to graduate from law school in 1892. She was also the first woman to attend a British university when she studied law at Oxford

She wrote to the National Indian Association for assistance to study further. Sir William Wedderburn contributed the money for her education. She was also the first woman from the country to study at any British University.

Also Read: Google Doodle Celebrates Sitara Devi


She completed her education but was not allowed to practise in either England or India. So she returned to India and became a legal adviser to the government for matters related to pardanashin women, i.e women in veils who were forbidden from interacting with men outside their families

Cornelia cleared the pleader examination in 1899, but still couldn’t practice. In 1923, she began to practise in Kolkata, after the courts in British India opened their doors to female advocates.

She was known for her pro bono work and her work for women and minors. Moreover, she was also a writer, who wrote short stories, articles and an autobiography ‘Between the Twilights’. She died in London on July 6th, 1954.


Google's doodle was created by Jasjyot Singh Hans. It was designed to mark the advocate's "persistence in the face of great adversity", Google said.

We love that Google has been honouring so many female icons of history in its recent doodles.

Also Read: Google Doodle Celebrates Women’s Activist Anasuya Sarabhai

Picture Credit: HT

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