At Crafty Counsel, we love to shine a spotlight on our in-house community. Celebrating and championing the career achievements, awesome projects, and sometimes surprising side-hustles of in-house legal professionals. If you didn’t already know, in-house legal are a really cool crowd who are achieving awesome things whilst constantly striving to make the profession better.

With today being International Women’s Day, we are teaming up with Obelisk Support – the only fully female-founded and independently-managed alternative legal service provider (ALSP) which has been pioneering flexible working long before it was mainstream – to look back at some of our recent conversations and shine that spotlight on the women in in-house legal.  

1. Emma Norman is a force to be reckoned with. As someone who is passionate about in-house legal – Emma is on a mission to showcase and promote in-house legal (both within her role and the wider world – check out this awesome article she wrote for us recently!). One way that Emma did this was, prior to the new SQE route, she created a formal programme for training in-house lawyers at Invesco. Emma is also doing some incredible work as a trustee for Luminary Bakery – a charity and social enterprise in London which provides opportunities for women who have experienced social and economic disadvantage.

2. Not only is Hui Min Langridge a musician with songs published in Japan, but she was also nominated for Advocate of the Year at the Women of IT Awards in 2020 because she created the first women’s network in the UK. We also learned that Hui Min set up a lunch and learn series within her role at Aptos which explores disruptive technologies.

3. Back in the early 2000s, Adeola Adebonojo did something that was unheard of. We loved hearing her story as a pioneer of the in-house training route. However, Adeola didn’t just stop there. As an in-house lawyer, she wanted to better understand how businesses operate because they “want someone who can look at it holistically.” Adeola took a step back from legal to complete her MBA and gain that deeper understanding.

4. Mel Scott is one of the biggest champions for building your personal brand as an in-house lawyer, and we think it’s so awesome how she balances being a full-time lawyer at tech company Megaport in Australia whilst also hosting her own podcast – Counsel – since April 2020 and creating some great content about being in-house on LinkedIn.

5. Hapreet Kaur Mangat is a shining example for non-traditional paths into law. She forged an incredible in-house career journey despite facing various challenges during the early years of her legal education and career. For example, during Harpreet’s legal studies, she shared the story of losing her father and how she had to step into a support role for her mother. Because of this experience, Harpreet acts as a trustee of a charity called Making Mum Proud – a charity which supports students when they suffer the loss of a parent or guardian.

See, we told you that the in-house legal crowd was a cool one. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what women are achieving in the in-house legal community – and just look at how incredible this small selection we’ve spotlighted is. There are many more inspiring stories of women making a difference in the legal sector!

But what we really want to know is: What is your big achievement? Or is there a fellow in-house woman who you know is doing awesome things? Head over to our LinkedIn profile where you can share it on our International Women’s Day post!

This article was created in partnership with Obelisk Support.

We teamed up Obelisk Support on this article for International Women’s Day because, who better? Obelisk Support have been at the forefront of fighting to retain female talent in the legal profession, through flexible work offerings. Even today, Obelisk Support continues with this mission with programmes such as Returners’ Springboard which helps those who have taken career breaks realise their potential, boost their confidence, and get back into the world of law.

Returners’ Springboard is a free, online programme which takes place across four days. It features expert coaches, lawyers (both in-house and beyond), and fellow returners, provides flexibility to participate as much as you’re able, and kids are welcome to tag along!