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Lady Hale gave a motivating speech about her pioneering career

First female President of the UK Supreme Court visits the University of Exeter

The first female President of the Supreme Court inspired University of Exeter students hoping to be the lawyers of the future with a motivating speech about her pioneering career.

Lady Hale met undergraduates and academics from the University of Exeter Law School during her visit to campus and gave a lecture about her life and work as an influential family lawyer, judge and now head of the highest court in the land.

Students were able to ask Lady Hale, who was welcomed to campus by Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith, questions about her career and the role of the Supreme Court.

Richard Edwards, Head of the Exeter Law School, said: “It was an honour to welcome Lady Hale to the University of Exeter. Her career has made history and it was a privilege for us to meet her and hear about her work.”

Lady Hale is the third President of The Supreme Court. She had served as the Deputy President from 2013 until her appointment in 2017. She was the also the first female Justice of The Supreme Court. Lady Hale studied at University of Cambridge and later became an academic at the University of Manchester, as well as a lawyer and then High Court judge.

She was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1999 and was created a life peer as Baroness Hale of Richmond in 2004.

David Tyzack, a former judge and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter Law School, said: “Baroness Hale’s illuminating lecture, to a packed Northcott Theatre, was an inspiration to the students. She spoke about her state school education and modest upbringing in North Yorkshire. She outlined her career – academic, legal and judicial, and emphasized that her success was not so much due to her academic brilliance or even her gender as – surprisingly – luck – in meeting just the right people at the right time.

“But Baroness Hale was also at pains to point out the importance, for the next generation of lawyers, of hard work, persistence and boldness as some of the essential ingredients for a successful legal career.  To the delight of students in the Family Law module she spoke about her work in the Supreme Court, including being completely outnumbered by her male colleagues in Radmacher, and she also spoke about the role of the UK Supreme Court politically and constitutionally, compared with the USA – illustrating her remarks with the case of Miller.

Her lecture ended with an excellent Q & A session. It was, all in all, a memorable occasion.”

Date: 19 December 2018

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