I will not forget the time when a barrister told me, shortly after I had come ‘out’ whilst a pupil, that the bar needed “real men”. Or the clerk who deliberately put my papers into pink folders. Those days, however, are long gone. The profession has moved with society and reflected its changes.
When I moved to practise in London, the head of my new chambers, now a judge, went out of his way to welcome my partner in his speech at the Christmas dinner. A few years later, colleagues were overwhelmingly supportive when I and my partner adopted a young boy.
I have, in the past, not shouted about myself because I considered that our voices were for our clients rather than ourselves. Our voices are, however, welcomed and heard at all levels of the profession – at the bar and on the bench. I hope to hear many more.