Justine Thornton, Environmental Barrister and wife of Ed Miliband Leader of the Labour Party, visits school for Inspiring Women campaign

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Justine Thornton, Environmental Barrister and wife of Ed Miliband Leader of the Labour Party, visited Parliament Hill Girls School on 7 March to do Inspiring Women campaign ‘career speed networking’ with 40 girls and eight other female lawyers.

Justine said about the Inspiring Women campaign event: “It was a privilege to mark International Women’s Day with Year 8 girls at Parliament Hill School. Joined by eight other women lawyers, we talked with the students about careers in the field. They asked us interesting questions and I hope we’ve inspired them to think about a career in law.”

Inspiring Women volunteer Elspeth Lynch, who works as Associate General Counsel and managing director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, talks about going into Parliament Hill School.

Elspeth says: “As part of a commitment by my employer (BofA Merrill), to encourage every employee to go into a school this year and talk about their career, on 7 March for International Women’s Day, I participated in a legal-themed event organised by Inspiring the Future at Parliament Hill School. I was joined by eight other senior female lawyers (solicitors, barristers and in-house lawyers) with Justine Thornton leading the line-up. We followed a ‘speed career networking’ format, with each of the lawyers sitting at a table answering questions from 12-13 year old girls. I spoke about my role at the bank and then we turned to what the pupils wanted to know. What really struck me was their thirst for information about what my role involves and what my career path looked like. I was very impressed with the varied nature of their questions and their insightfulness – our time flew by. I really hope the experience was inspiring and that at least some of the students will consider a career in the legal profession – certainly they seemed very engaged and interested. The opportunity to spend time with these girls also gave me a chance to think about some of the choices I’ve made along my own winding career path. I felt privileged to be involved, and was truly impressed with the girls’ energy.”

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