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Pioneer, reformer, living legend: Lady Hale overcame the odds to become the most senior judge in the United Kingdom, a trail-blazing inspiration and the subject of global headlines.

Lady Hale is the youngest person and first woman appointed to the Law Commission, the first female Law Lord, the first female Supreme Court justice and the first woman president of the Supreme Court. She joins us live on stage in London to tell her story.

Raised in a small North Yorkshire village, she only went into the law because her headteacher told her she wasn't clever enough to study history. She became the most senior judge in the country but it was an unconventional path to the top.

How does a self-professed 'girly swot' get ahead in a profession dominated by men? Was it a surprise that the perspectives of women and other disadvantaged groups had been overlooked, or that children's interests were marginalised? A lifelong smasher of glass-ceilings, who took as her motto 'women are equal to everything', her landmark rulings in areas including domestic violence, divorce, mental health and equality were her attempt to correct that.

As President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale won global attention in finding the 2019 prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful. Yet that dramatic moment was merely the pinnacle of a career throughout which she was hailed as a pioneering reformer.

In this live, In Conversation event, she will show us how the law shapes our world and supports us in crisis. She will tell us how she found that she could overcome the odds, and show us that anyone from similar beginnings will find that they can cope too.

This event is presented in partnership with How To Academy. This event is available to attend both in-person and as a livestream.

If you are unable to attend the live in-person event due to the need to self-isolate tickets are fully refundable or can be converted into a livestream ticket and, if you bought a book, it will be posted to you.

COVID protocols will adhere to government guidelines.

  • Spider Woman

  • 'Brenda Hale's story is extraordinary. She has been a pioneer... Spider woman and agent of change' Harriet Harman

    Lady Hale is an inspirational figure admired for her historic achievements and for the causes she has championed. Spider Woman is her story.


    As President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale won global attention in finding the 2019 prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful. Yet that dramatic moment was merely the pinnacle of a career throughout which she was hailed as a pioneering reformer.

    As 'a little girl from a little school in a little village in North Yorkshire', she only went into the law because her headteacher told her she wasn't clever enough to study history. She became the most senior judge in the country but it was an unconventional path to the top.

    How does a self-professed 'girly swot' get ahead in a profession dominated by men? Was it a surprise that the perspectives of women and other disadvantaged groups had been overlooked, or that children's interests were marginalised? A lifelong smasher of glass-ceilings, who took as her motto 'women are equal to everything', her landmark rulings in areas including domestic violence, divorce, mental health and equality were her attempt to correct that.

    Wise, warm and inspiring, Spider Woman shows how the law shapes our world and supports us in crisis. It is the story of how Lady Hale found that she could overcome the odds, which shows that anyone from similar beginnings will find that they can cope too.

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