Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Jean Hill

Interviewed by Rosemary Christmas on 14 April 2003

Rosemary Christmas. Were you happy to do law, you didn’t have any other ideas? In a way law was prepared for you.

Jean Hill. Yes it was. I used to work in the office in the school holidays sometimes so I knew all about it. They had an office in Galston House in Pitt Street and they used to have processions in Pitt Street and we’d go into the office and have a wonderful view.

Rosemary Christmas. Was that Firm very big in those days?

Jean Hill. Not at all, it was never very big, just about four partners. I think small is good, these big firms worry me because you don’t seem to have the same rapport with the people there and you get pushed on to someone else. I always liked to do my own thing.

Rosemary Christmas. In those days at law school you’d have been probably a minority were there many other women?

Jean Hill. In my first year I did arts law. I went to University in 1937/38.

Rosemary Christmas. So there were quite a few women solicitors coming through?

Jean Hill. They disappeared, in first year law I think there were 10 women compared to about 100 men, but by the time we got to the final year there were only three of us left. Lee Huntley was an alderman of Mosman Council and she was in my year.

Rosemary Christmas. When you graduated did you have any ideas of doing something else like going to the Bar or anything like that?

Jean Hill. (laughs) No, no. I’d been in the office as an article clerk and there I was – I was now a solicitor so there we were. No I was not an ambitious type.