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1 Chancery Lane celebrates International Women’s Day

News | Mon 8th Mar, 2021

Today, Monday 8th March, is International Women’s Day. In celebration of this, we are looking ahead to next year’s centenary of the first women barristers to be called to the Bar and we asked some of our women barristers what being a woman at the Bar today means to them.


Laura JohnsonTo me, being a woman at the Bar means:

Working from within to modernise a profession that needs to be more representative of society as a whole; being proud to be part of a generation demonstrating that women can and should be leaders, that there is space for women at the head of the table, on the other side of the negotiation and at the front of the court room. After 100 years of women at the Bar these things are still not always a given.  They should be and I hope that by the time my daughters and son are setting out on their career paths they will be. – Laura Johnson


Francesca O'Neill

Having the opportunity to be an advocate in the courtroom and a mother of young children at home is a balancing act, and not always the easiest. Thankfully, it is now possible. After 100 years, the Bar still has a long way to go for women to be seen as natural leaders. I will work to change that. I am proud of the commitment and support of my colleagues, and hope to encourage and inspire other young women who might otherwise have doubts. – Francesca O’Neill


Ella Davis

I’m grateful that due to the work of courageous women over the last 100 years, most days I don’t consider what being a woman at the Bar means to me. However, there is work to be done and I want to do my part in improving access to the profession and contributing to it becoming more representative of the population it serves. – Ella Davis



Dominique Smith

Following in the footsteps of the women who laid the foundations for us to have a career at the Bar, who showed that women can succeed in any profession and deserve a place in the courtroom, I strive to continue their work and to inspire women from all backgrounds that this profession is not out of reach to them. – Dominique Smith


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