First woman to be appointed King's Counsel
Born: 1894 in Cayuga, Ontario
Helen Alice Kinnear graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, was called to the bar on 21 October 1920, and joined her father's law firm. In 1934, she became the first woman in the British Empire to be appointed King's Counsel (K.C.) and the next year, she became the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court of Canada. She was also the first federally appointed female judge in Canada (1943).
Osgoode Hall Law School awards two prizes in her name: the Helen Kinnear Prize in Criminal Procedure and the Helen Kinnear Prize in Family Law. There is also a children's centre named for her in Port Colborne, Ontario, where she lived from 1904 to 1943.
More information on:
Colombo, John Robert. 1000 Questions About Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2001.
Added 14 April 2002.