Female UK legal trailblazer congratulates Leicester law students

Women in Law Society vice-president Diljot Gill.

A trailblazing senior legal figure has sent her congratulations to University of Leicester students for setting up a Women in Law Society.

Former president of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale of Richmond, conveyed her support for the students, whose society has attracted 200 members within a fortnight of being set up.

Baroness Hale, who currently sits in the House of Lords, became the most senior female judge in British legal history with her appointment as deputy president of the UK's supreme court in 2014, before progressing to president three years later.

She told the society founders: “Well done to the Law students of the University of Leicester for setting up a society which will meet their particular needs as aspiring women lawyers of the future.”

The Women in Law Society was established in February by founder and co-president Aysu Aghaei Ghazani, co-president Jayda Onilude and vice-president Diljot Gill, all of whom are first year Law students.

Its formation came just in time for the 2024 International Women’s Day, which falls on Friday 8 March.

Diljot said: “We have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we have received – and to have words of encouragement from Baroness Hale is a massive vote of confidence for us. To have more than 200 members within two weeks of setting up is incredible.”

She added: “The society’s ethos is for women, by women. We are a diverse group of women from different places. Sometimes, because of religious reasons, some girls do not feel comfortable attending the main Law Society events because it’s mixed gender and they may feel intimidated. Ours is a safe space for women, to uplift each other because it is important that women stand up for women.”

One of the society’s key aims is to bridge the gap between education and the legal industry.

Diljot said: “Our members will be able to network with women in the legal field and professors of other law schools, as well as our own. Girls can be underrepresented in the legal field – we want to give them more chances and opportunities. Everybody has talent, but not opportunities, which is where the society comes into play.”

The networking events will include an audience with a panel of female solicitors and barristers.

“The main idea is that they can share their stories, how they overcame challenges as women in the legal sector and how they established themselves,” said Diljot. “This will hopefully empower the students. It can be hard, because we are studying a very hard degree and it can be difficult to keep going. But when you hear from professionals that you will be successful and you just have to keep trying, that can be a very big motivation for us students.”

As for the society’s long-term future, Diljot said: “We’re hoping the society will progress. We, the founders will be here for another two years, and hopefully it will last, and when we are 50 years old we can come back and give a speech.”