Legal trailblazer Lady Hale inspires DMU students

Law students got the chance to hear from one of the UK’s top legal minds as Baroness Hale visited De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Lady Hale, the first and only female president of the Supreme Court, delivered an inspirational Q&A talking about her career and answering questions from students and staff on topics ranging from Rwanda to assisted dying and the Human Rights Act.

She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the students and answering their questions. I do this quite a lot and some of them asked questions I had not thought of before!”

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Lady Hale has been a trailblazer for women in the legal profession. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, where she helped introduce the Children Act 1989 which established children’s rights in the courts.

Asked her proudest achievement, she said: “I always think it is a close-run thing between the Children’s Act and some of my judgements, but I think being part of the team the shaped the Children’s Act would probably be the one which has had most impact.”

Lady Hale was a barrister and legal academic before becoming a recorder and then judge. She became the first female Law Lord, the first female Supreme Court justice and then the most senior judge in the UK in 2017. While at the Supreme Court she delivered the landmark ruling that then Prime Minister Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully in suspending Parliament.

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Students at the Q&A said hearing her views had been inspiring.  Terrie Covill, who is going into third year, said: “I have felt really excited ever since I heard about this. It was a great experience to hear from somebody with that much knowledge who has been such a figure in the law.”

Second year student Nifemi Adebayo said: “It was really inspiring to hear from her. As law students we have all read cases where she’s given a judgement. This is one of the most memorable moments of university for me. As a female students she is someone I look up to and has made me see what I can do in law.”

The session was arranged by Head of DMU Law School, Alan East, and associate head Brett Koenig ahead of the relaunch of the Leicester Community Advice and Law Centre, also held at DMU.

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Mr Koenig said: “We are incredibly grateful to Lady Hale for joining us. Her insights and experiences are invaluable, and her presence has undoubtedly inspired our students.

“It’s not every day that they get to interact with a figure who has shaped the legal landscape of our country. Thank you for giving us your time, your reflections, and for answering the questions we really appreciate it.”   

Posted on Thursday 20 June 2024

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