At the magistrates' court, there was usually a female police officer or even a prison officer who would "mind the baby" while I nipped into court for a quick plea in mitigation, or the very occasional fight.The screams that penetrated the courtroom walls invariably came from somebody else's child; mine were invariably quiet - perhaps cowed by the solemn atmosphere of the law in action.On the way down, I explained the allegations against our defendant, who was pleading guilty.
Sadly none of my three daughters has followed me into the law; maybe it's for the best.
When I left school I joined the Civil Service, working in the Crown Court and the County Court.
My Head of Chambers was most understanding - he had a working wife himself - and the clerks promised me that my seat in chambers would still be there for me when I needed it.
18 years later, and with another child added to our family, I was happily prosecuting murderers, fraudsters and IRA terrorists at the DPP's department and not missing self-employed practice at all.
Many firms in the North West of England are over-reliant on fast track personal injury work and it is a major source of legal employment here.
It is a sad fact that many PI paralegals are unlikely to secure a training contract despite working very hard for years and obtaining good quality experience.When I joined them afterwards, they were shocked by the demeanour of the accused. " I had to explain that she was the Chairman of the Bench.My defendant was a perfectly innocuous-looking person, whose back was turned to my daughters throughout the brief hearing.There were lots of spare old papers around, with blank backs, for them to use.However I was disconcerted to be challenged by a stipe at a "Section 1" committal, who asked me if "there was any significance in the crayoned drawings" on the reverse of the original documents I had just submitted.At the heart of the First 100 Years project are 100 incredible stories charting the journey of women in law.