International Women's Day - GULS interviews

‘Ambition’ – a strong desire to achieve

At the University of Glasgow we are taught that through our education and drive we can ‘change the world.’ On the surface this could be seen as simply a nice piece of rhetoric, but as law students at Glasgow we walk in the shadow of world changers every day.

Pioneers such as Madge Easton Anderson and Nicola Sturgeon: from the first female solicitor to the first female leader of our country, Glasgow’s female legal alumni have been paving the way for almost one hundred years. In their ambition we must find strength, we must find admiration and we must be driven to match and further their success to set an example for the students who will proceed us. In celebration of International Women’s Day Glasgow University Law Society are honoured to present interviews with our female role models from across the legal profession. These women are living proof that there are no limits to the success which can be achieved through ambition and hard work; from becoming the first female judge appointed to the Court of Session, to appearing before the European Court of Justice and rising to Partner in one of the UK’s foremost commercial law firms.

It is through their ambition that these women have achieved such immeasurable success, and it is through ambition that we will follow in their footsteps. However, whilst we celebrate the success of our role models on International Women’s Day, both ambition and success must be blind to gender. The success of our peers and predecessors, particularly in the face of adversity, must be celebrated at all times regardless of what gender they identify with, what class, religion, race or what background. We must take great pride in those who have come before us and learn to build upon their success.

GULS would like to say a huge thank you to all of our interviewees for helping us to celebrate International Women’s Day, and for showing us that no matter how impossible it may seem now, we are in great company and success is just around the corner.

~ Eilidh Sheach, GULS President 


Anni Pues

Dr Anni Pues is currently an International Law lecturer and researcher at the University of Glasgow. Before turning to academia, however, Anni worked as an award-winning Human Rights and Criminal Defence Lawyer in Germany. Her unparalleled legal expertise saw her admitted to the List of Counsel at the International Criminal Court, and she has also acted as a legal representative before the European Court of Justice.


Antonia Crawford

Antonia Crawford is a Senior Solicitor and Office Manager at Beltrami and Company, one of Scotland’s most highly-regarded criminal defence firms. Since joining the firm in 2009, Antonia has gained a formidable reputation as a solicitor and currently specialises in cases involving allegations of a sexual nature. Her determination to succeed and willingness to go the extra mile have earned her praise from her clients and also her colleagues within the legal profession.


Lady Cosgrove

Lady Hazel Cosgrove graduated from the University of Glasgow Law School in 1966 and went on to become the first female Sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin and the Sheriff of Lothian and Borders. From there, she progressed to become a temporary judge on the High Court and Court of Session. Most inspirationally, in 1996, she was appointed to a permanent seat on the bench of the Inner House of the Court of Session and was the first woman to do so. In 2004 she received an OBE for her services to the criminal justice system in Scotland and continues to make her mark on the Scottish legal sphere.


Janette Speed

Janette Speed studied Law at Aberdeen University. Janette made Partner in 2004 and subsequently led her firm to a successful merger as managing partner with Shoosmiths LLP, an award-winning commercial law firm with offices across the UK. Janette is now a Partner in the Real Estate department at Shoosmiths and leads the firm’s Edinburgh office. Janette has worked with various clients on numerous multi-million pound transactions such as large development acquisitions. Janette has continuously received praise for her outstanding work from leading legal directories such as the Legal 500 and Chambers UK.


Fiona Leverick

Fiona Leverick has been the Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Glasgow since 2013, having joined the Law School in 2007 as a Senior Lecturer. Fiona's research interests lie within the areas of criminal law, procedure, evidence and justice and she has been and continues to be involved in several research projects within these areas, such as the Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review and the ongoing study of mock jury decision-making for the Scottish Government. Fiona has also authored three books on criminal law. 


Kirsty J Hood

Dr Kirsty J. Hood Q.C. is a Glasgow alumna and currently sits as Clerk of the Faculty of Advocates with particular expertise in the cross-border matters of International Private Law. Having obtained her PhD in the field of IPL, Kirsty has gone on to share her invaluable knowledge through the production of published work and engaging seminars. Having recently participated in a panel discussion regarding the Glasgow Feminist Film Festival’s special screening of ‘RBG’, documenting the career of Supreme Court Associate Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kirsty expresses her praise for the inspiration women like Ruth provide for aspiring young law students.


Maria Fletcher

We conclude our series with an interview with Maria Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in European Law and the School of Law’s Employability Officer. As a Champion of the First100Years project, amongst other things, Maria has worked extensively to promote social justice. In this video, Maria discusses this group-breaking project which celebrates the centenary of women in law. In particular, Maria provides an insight into why this landmark is especially significant for Glasgow University. Maria provides details about the University’s upcoming, major project which looks at the role of women in law and how students can get involved. 


Photo of Madge Easton Anderson, Daily Record 16 December 1920. Courtesy of The Mitchell Library, Glasgow

Find out more about Madge Easton Anderson, the first female lawyer in the UK and University of Glasgow alumna: ‘University of Glasgow unveils photo of the first woman solicitor in the UK’