Male generosity has always been something rather rare when applied to the question of women breaking into the male citadel of the law: women only became sui juris when they escaped the legal control of their husbands, something that only happened in 1919 in Italy and even then with a very limited application of the new rules. This was the dichotomy between a woman’s legal status as a person, a member of her family and a participant in society and her status as an individual exercising the profession of attorney. For the other legal professions, the notary and the judge, as with their right to political representation, Italian women still had several more decades to wait, not just because their debut in these legal professions was still looked upon with undisguised hostility, opposition, cultural backwardness and nit-picking restrictions, but also because a notary and a judge both play public roles, and only men were considered to be suitable for positions that implied paying a public role or providing a public service. At the time when Italy’s new Civil Code was being drawn up, Anna Maria Mozzoni, one of the leading lights of the struggle for equal rights in Italy, wrote an essay in 1864 entitled La liberazione della donna (Women’s Liberation), in which she analysed women’s status in contemporary public opinion, in religion, in the family, in society and in science, then set out to lay the foundations for the reform of private law to improve that status and guarantee emancipation.
Keywords: Women, Women’s legal and professional capacity, Women’s entry into advocacy, Prerequisites, Legal profession