Professor Suzanne Rab, OU Law Associate Lecturer, finalist for Inspirational Women in Law Awards

Professor Suzanne Rab OU Law Associate lecturer has been selected as one of the six finalists for the Inspirational Women in Law Awards, in the Barrister of the Year category.

Further information on the Celebrating 100 Women in Law initiative can be found here:

The award ceremony was held on the 19th November at 5pm at County Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 7GP. 

 

OU Associate Lecturer Professor Suzanne Rab combiners her role as an Associate Lecturer with the OU (on W102 and W330) with working full time as a barrister at Serle Court Chambers in London, being Professor of Commercial Law and Practice Chair at Brunel University and serving as a non-executive Board member of the Legal Aid Agency which dispenses civil and criminal legal aid.  

 When asked what it means to be a role model Suzanne Rab said:

“We all need to have big dreams.  To realise these aspirations, we need role models or someone we aspire to be like, or who can motivate us.  The greatest advancements for human beings have been framed in terms of reaching to the sky and having dreams and Martin Luther King as a role model comes to mind. 

 A role model does not need to be a public figure.  My father remains my greatest inspiration and role model.  As a child I saw him juggling two jobs, in the mornings as an accountant and in the evenings as a factory-hand, making fibre-glass baths.  He inspired me to pursue what he regarded as a ‘noble’ profession – the practice of law.  It was synonymous with making a difference; with changing things for the better for ordinary people; and with giving a voice to those who cannot or cannot afford to speak in their own cause.  I knew him only for a short while since he passed away when I was eight years old but his encouragement that I would one day become a barrister proved strangely prophetic.

There are challenges to confront in terms of access to and progression through the legal profession.  It is very competitive.  You have to distinguish yourself from others who are equally well qualified.  People who have navigated these challenges have a real responsibility in not forgetting where they came from and inspiring the next generation.  They can be good role models. 

My work ethic has been instilled in me from my parents and educators.  I see many people who are talented but they gave up along the way.  Role models encourage people to not give up. They provide an exemplar of how to be the best you can be.”