Dorothy Christine SOMERVILLE

Also known as: Dumps

Born: 12/5/1897

Died: 24/9/1992

Special Achievements:

With Mary Tenison Woods she established Australia's first female legal partnership in 1925. She was also the first female member of South Australia's Law Society and in 1937 became the first woman practitioner to take a female articled law clerk (her niece Sesca Zelling).

1922 - She was the third South Australian woman admitted to the Bar.
1925 - Part of first female law practice with Mary Tenison Woods.
1928-1991 - Practiced as a sole law practitioner - first woman to do so.

Additional Information:

1977 - Awarded H.M. The Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal.
1986 - Awarded Medal of Australia (AM) for work in the law and community.

Dorothy's niece Sesca Ross ZELLING can also be found in HerStory.


  • Image - Dorothy Somerville

    Photographer: unknown

    The Advertiser

  • References

    Lofthouse, Andrea. (1982).  Who's who of Australian womenSydney:  Methuen, p. 114.

  • References

    Pioneer solicitor mourned.  newspaper unknown.  September 1992:page unknown.