Law students prefer Lady Hale to Lord Denning and Amal Clooney

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By Katie King on

Big win for Beyoncé


Lady Hale has been crowned as the “most admired person in the legal profession” among law students, pipping eccentric judge Lord Denning and human rights barrister Amal Clooney to the post.

The finding was made following a survey of 513 University of Law students enrolled on its LLB, GDL, LPC and BPTC courses, with the results revealed this morning. Here at Legal Cheek, we’re hardly surprised by the news, given the cult status these three icons have managed to achieve in recent years.

For all you law newbies out there, this is why law students love the three worthy winners so much:

1. Lady Hale


A Supreme Court judge, a QC, an academic, and a mother — we struggle to think of a better role model than Lady Hale. She’s state-school educated and she’s female, a rare sight in the higher ranks of the judiciary. But she’s not afraid to keep the boys in check. She is well known for her pro-feminist attitudes and pushes for greater diversity in the legal profession.

Her judgments and academic commentary have had a huge influence in the likes of land law, mental health law, and family law, yet she’s still really cool. As the Chancellor of Bristol University, Hale was the first to tell the graduates to go out and have a proper party to celebrate. Rumour has it she even gave one lucky graduate a job reference.

2. Lord Denning


Described as “the most celebrated English judge of the 20th century”, the late and great Lord Denning is a firm favourite amongst law students for his bizarre judgments, most of all his dissents. We’ll never forget the dressing down he gave the — probably bewildered — dad in Re Weston’s Settlement Trusts. Last week, Sir Henry Brooke, a retired Court of Appeal judge, gave us a personal insight into the life and works of the brilliant Denning on his blog.

Brooke, who acted as Denning’s “personal gofer” for 12 months as a young barrister, revealed that, for all his eccentricism, Denning was actually a really nice guy, recalling:

Both he and his wife were always remarkably friendly, both to me and to every other student they ever met.

We didn’t think it was possible, but now we like him even more.

3. Amal Clooney


A new icon on the scene, the rookie human rights barrister shot to fame following her whirlwind romance with Hollywood actor George Clooney. Now she’s rubbing shoulders with the stars, and last year had one of the most extravagant, star-studded weddings of the decade.

But her newly acquired celeb status hasn’t gone to her head — she’s still plodding on at Doughty Street, and last month Legal Cheek reported that Clooney has decided to ditch her engagement ring to shake her superstar image in the courtroom.

She’s gone on to make humans rights cool: the soaring applications for human rights courses have been dubbed the ‘Amal effect’ and rumour has it even Angelina Jolie is jealous of her — surely that’s about as good as compliments come.