Despite feminist pressure to open the legal profession, the Inns resisted women's presence until the 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act mandated that no institution could refuse admission on the basis of sex. The Societies worried over women's infiltration into their formerly collegiate spaces, especially the Hall, center of fraternal dining rituals. To preserve masculine homosociability, one Inn even insisted that female students dine separately. The circuit messes, which operated as fantastic extensions of the Inns for barristers outside of London, similarly instituted policies excluding women from their operations. London's courts often lacked lavatory and cloakroom facilities to comfortably accommodate female barristers. In the face of these challenges, women barristers understood that success was predicated on de-emphasizing their gender and embracing the fraternal atmosphere of the profession. They partook in dining rituals and ceremonies in the Hall, took chambers at the Inns, debated their way into circuit messes, and divided the courts' cramped resources amongst themselves.
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