Zena Sachs

Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
31 July 2011
Petersham, New South Wales, Australia
Barrister, Lawyer, Legal academic and Research assistant

Zena Sachs made a valuable contribution to the law and its practitioners during a long career in academia. The daughter of Jewish immigrants who had originally moved from Poland, she attended North Newtown Primary School and the academically selective Sydney Girls High School. Equipped with a secretarial qualification, in 1947 she went to work for Julius Stone, the then Challis Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law at the University of Sydney. Encouraged by Stone to undertake a university course, she embarked upon a law degree in 1946, graduating in 1950. On 1 December 1950, she was admitted to the New South Wales Bar. She did not practise, however, instead becoming Stone's research (graduate) assistant and remaining with him for four decades. Stone dedicated Human Law and Human Justice (1965) to her in recognition of her inestimable support and diligent work. Sachs was a founding member and honorary secretary of the Women Lawyers' Association (WLA) of New South Wales. Made a life member, she was honoured at the WLA's 50th anniversary gala dinner at Parliament House in Sydney in 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: Papers of Zena Sachs relating to Julius Stone, 1946-2010, 1946 - 2010, MS Acc12.015; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection; Rosen, Sue and Sachs, Zena, 'Zena Sachs was interviewed by Sue Rosen', in Newtown Project, City of Sydnet, City of Sydney, 2014, http://www.newtownproject.com.au/portfolio-items/zena-sachs/; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1951, A. H. Pettifer, Government Printer, Sydney, 1951, p. 77; 1967, pp. 81, 110; 1976, p. 97; 1978, p. 109; The University of Sydney Calendar Supplement for the Year 1953, Sydney: A. H. Pettifer, Government Printer, Publisher to the University, 1954, p. 363; The Ryerson Index (See: 'Sachs, Zena', The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 2 August 2011, p. 16); Starr, Leonie, 'Zena Sachs 1913 - 2011', Women Lawyers' Association of New South Wales, https://womenlawyersnsw.org.au/245-2/, accessed online 6 March 2016; http://www.nswbar.asn.au/the-bar-association/pioneering-women/#/honour-roll.

Prepared by Marina Loane