I’m sorry, little black girls from Balham don’t become judges”, as Sandie Okoro – now senior vice president and general counsel at the World Bank Group – was told by her teacher when she was eight years old.

Sandie’s experience was not unusual, as we found out when we interviewed some of the country’s pioneering black women lawyers for the First 100 Years project.

Baroness Scotland recalls the shock of teachers at Walthamstow School for Girls when she expressed her ambition to become a lawyer.

“There was a pecking order I was told at that stage – white male, black male, white female, and at the bottom of the pile, black female”, as she explained.


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