Oxford alumna becomes president of the Law Society
Christina Blacklaws, a former student of the Law Faculty, has been inaugurated as the 174th president of the Law Society of England and Wales
Succeeding Joe Egan in the role of president, Christina becomes only the fifth woman and the first ever female Oxford graduate to hold the position. Her presidential term will last for one year, during which time she has pledged to promote access to the profession and address the issue of gender inequality in the profession. Every year since 1990, women have made up more than 60 per cent of entrants, but still make up only 22 per cent of partners in private practice. Christina has launched a how-to guide for roundtables investigating gender inequality, of which more than 100 will be held nationally and internationally, with the results of the research scheduled for publication in spring 2019.
Christina is also keen to deliver on her passion for access to justice, aiming to prevent the criminal justice system from failing the vulnerable and disempowered in society. Another main area of focus of hers will be the future of law and legal technology. Christina has been appointed to chair the new yearlong LawTech Policy Commission alongside Sofia Olhede of UCL and Sylvie Delacroix of Birmingham University.
In her inaugural speech at the Law Society's Annual General Meeting in Chancery Lane, Christina said:
I am honoured, excited and humbled to pick up the baton at this crucial moment for the profession and for our country.
She later added:
I will work tirelessly to support, promote and represent our profession, of which I am extremely proud to be a member.
Christina studied Jurisprudence during her time at Oxford, before qualifying as a solicitor in 1991. She set up the Co-operative Legal Services family law practice in 2011, and more recently held the position of director of innovation at the top 100 firm Cripps LLP. She is also a member of the Family Justice Council and the Women Lawyers Division, and served on Law Society councils and committees for 15 years before her accession as president, becoming the senior representative of the solicitors' profession in England and Wales.