Christian Smith Gibson

Biography of Christian Smith Gibson

Christian Smith Gibson, later Kirsty Webster, graduated BL in 1920.

A classmate of Madge Easton Anderson, she was the second woman to graduate with a law degree from the University of Glasgow.

Christian Smith Gibson was born on 5th June 1898. Her schoolteacher father, John, died before she began her studies. After a session as a private student in 1916-17 she matriculated in the Faculty of Law to take her B.L. degree. She was a very successful student as evidenced by her placings in class. She came third in Conveyancing in 1917, gained a second class merit certificate in Civil Law in 1918 and won the Robert Ross Prize in Scots Law in 1919. In her final year she took an Honours certificate in Conveyancing before graduating B.L. in 1920. Christian was the second woman to graduate in Law from Glasgow and her experience of being a student in an otherwise exclusive male Faculty was shared with Madge Easton Anderson who graduated B.L. a year earlier and LL.B in 1920.

After graduation Christian worked as a law clerk and was on her way to become a fully qualified solicitor when she married James Davidson Webster, a print works manager, in November 1925. At the time of her marriage she was living in Old Kilpatrick. Marriage and family for all practical purposes brought an end to her professional opportunities. Something of the young, pioneering law student remains to be explored in the seven volumes of lecture notes which she donated to the University Archives in 1977. She was diligent in underlining the points she thought particularly important or examinable and her notes on the law relating to the effects of marriage on the status of women, taken on 23rd October 1918, highlighted the fact that a woman's status was 'altered by marriage from being sui juris - she became alieni sui juris- subject to the legal personality of her husband'. The law changed but law as a career for most of the women graduates who married was a long time coming. Christian died on 18th October 1980.


Christian Smith Gibson
Born 5 June 1898.
Died 18 October 1980.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: BL, 1920; Law,
Occupation categories: lawyers
Record last updated: 14th Jul 2020

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