The following is an exert from a history of Frances Lillian Fish.
"Everybody Called Her Frank"
The Odyssey of an Early Woman Lawyer in New Brunswick
Independent scholar in Halifax
In February 1934 Frances Fish was called to the bar of New Brunswick and spent the next forty years practising law in her home town of Newcastle (now City of Miramichi) NB. In 1918 she had been both the first woman to graduate LLB from Dalhousie University and the first woman to be called to the bar of Nova Scotia. Though she initially intended to remain in Halifax, she instead left Nova Scotia almost immediately, abandoning the practice of law altogether. She spent the next fifteen years working as a paralegal in Ottawa and Montreal before returning to New Brunswick and resuming the practice of law. This article is a study of Fish’s career in New Brunswick, framed within the experience of the first women lawyers in Canada, of whom she was the seventh. 2
1 The subject of this article is one of the ten first women lawyers in Canada. Its central theme is the interaction of the personal and the professional and consequences arising therefrom that affect an individual career path. It is an essay in life as career, and the slow and deliberate progress towards that fateful decision—evading Hobson’s choice before ultimately making it. New Brunswicker Frances Fish’s life journey was replete with inconsistencies and contradictions. She had no apparent interest in law as a career before she became a law student at age twenty-five. She did not enter law school for another two years, and then not in her home province but in neighbouring Nova Scotia, a place with which she had no connection and where there had never been a woman law undergraduate. The first woman called to the bar in Nova Scotia, Fish did not return to New Brunswick to practise law. Nor did she remain in Nova Scotia; instead she abandoned both Halifax and her budding law practice almost as soon as it had begun. With a profession but without a professional career, Fish seemed to lack a focus for her life. For some fifteen years she worked as a solicitor’s assistant and paralegal in Ottawa and Montreal, where (in Ontario) she could have become a lawyer had she wished to. She finally found her "sailor’s legs" and second life as a practising lawyer in, of all places, her hometown, where she was from "the right side of the tracks." (Novelist David Adams Richards, who was born and grew up in Newcastle while Fish was the resident deputy county magistrate there, has described it as "a great town with a grand tradition" 3). In early middle age she finally settled down, dabbled unsuccessfully in politics and survived and flourished as a small-town woman lawyer on the Miramichi—a novelty if not an oddity in her own time and place. Her life is the stuff of fiction and reads like a novel.
For a more indept history of Frances, you can google Frances Lillian Fish/Newcastle. Of course, she was friends to Lord Beaverbrook who was practically her neighbor growing up....
And if you want to be kept in "stitches", the thread to this link will help you: