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Posts Tagged ‘women in the legal profession’

Amanda YipAmanda Yip QC. Amanda is a personal injury and clinical negligence barrister at Exchange Chambers. She was called to the Bar in 1991 and took silk in 2011. This post was originally posted on Amanda’s blog Life in the Law after 84 new QCs were announced on 29th February. It is reproduced here with permission and thanks.

This week 84 barristers have been celebrating their appointment to the rank of QC.  Rather like when there is a new intake at secondary school, those of us in the second and third year have been only too keen to pass on our considerable experience to the new boys and girls! Over the last two years I have often been asked how I am finding it.  My honest answer is that it has been a bigger change than I anticipated.  Many changes were foreseen and welcomed.  Taking the lead on the big cases was something I wanted and enjoy.  I had reached the point where I wanted to have that responsibility and fortunately I still feel that way.  What took me by surprise was that becoming a silk was a change in lifestyle.

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Nikki Godden

Nikki is a doctoral student at Durham Law School, Durham University. She is co-creator and editor of Inherently Human.

Elizabeth M Schneider & Stephanie M Wildman (2011) Women and the Law Stories (Foundation Press)

Women and the Law Stories is a wonderful collection which tells the litigants’ tales that are a part of, but are typically excluded from, the legal history of landmark US cases which focus on women’s rights.  Chapters explore and evaluate feminist critiques of the relevant case, area of law and legal concepts in light of and in relation to these stories. The editors introduce the collection explaining that the telling and hearing of women’s stories (and, more generally, those of the powerless, disadvantaged or oppressed groups in society) has been a cornerstone of feminist method, practice and theory.[1] Or as put by Ann C Dailey, ‘the use of storytelling reflects a belief that personal and situated narrative is central to a proper understanding of justice’.[2] However, storytelling is not just a means to an end; it has an important normative dimension which reflects the idea that all voices, all storytellers, are equal and yet diverse and unique in many ways.[3] Embracing and following this storytelling tradition, the book reveals the ‘less well known’ personal narratives which ‘deserve wider recognition’.[4] In so doing, it challenges the dominant stories of these cases, and the ‘conventions of legal scholarship and institutional histories’.[5] To this end, the last chapter is a ‘hidden’ story, an ‘everyday’ case, which highlights ‘women’s experiences of anonymity and invisibility in the legal system’ and legal literature and mainstream scholarship.[6] While the stories are therefore valuable in themselves, the chapters also reflect on and interrogate feminist debates, approaches and concepts –  such as ‘gender stereotyping’ (Chamallas), equality  (Bartlett) equal versus special treatment (Wildman), access to healthcare and abortion (Copelon and Law) – exploring the implications for today and potential ways in which to move forwards in feminist legal theory and law reform. (more…)

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