I’m afraid it’s not possible to choose one! I previously worked as an immigration and asylum lawyer, and the days when my clients were given leave to remain in this country will always be some of the best days. More recently the days we received judgment in Ben Hoare Bell and Ors v the Lord Chancellor and in I.S. v Director of Legal Aid Casework and the Lord Chancellor certainly stand out.
What do you think is the greatest challenge for women looking to access justice in the UK?
For many women the greatest challenge will be getting the advice and representation that they need to be able to access justice. Following the drastic cuts to legal aid provision in recent years, particularly in the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”), many of those unable to pay for legal services will now find that they cannot get legal aid, and so will be unable to find a lawyer to assist them.
How far do you think the UK has come towards gender parity in the legal profession?
There has undoubtedly been progress made, even in the few years that I have been in practice. However, whilst the numbers of women entering and at junior levels in the legal profession are generally on a par with the numbers of men, men still hold the majority of senior roles. There is still work to be done.
Who, or what, inspires you most and why?
I have been lucky to have worked with, and for, some amazing people. Those people have often shown me that what seems impossible can be done.
Join us on 19 March 2016 for our Annual Student Conference to hear Andrea Coomber, Director of JUSTICE, in conversation with Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty. Sign up now.