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Portraits of women of the law: re-envisioning gender, law and the legal profession in law schools

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nikki Godden-Rasul



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article explores the role of law school portraits of women in law in challenging the over-representation of men in law. Portraiture is a long-standing means by which professions celebrate worthy individuals and reproduce institutional values. In relation to law and the legal profession, portraits are predominantly of men and link law with masculine attributes, contributing to the visual and actual marginalisation of women in law’s past and present. The article begins by setting out why portraits of women exhibited in UK law schools are an important way to challenge gender inequalities in law. It then provides a snapshot of the gender dimensions of university and law school portraiture in the UK, before analysing the Inspirational Women of the Law exhibition at Newcastle Law School as a method of disrupting the dominant gendered visual order in law, and bringing into focus women in legal history.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Godden-Rasul N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Legal Studies

Year: 2019

Volume: 39

Issue: 3

Pages: 415-431

Print publication date: 01/09/2019

Online publication date: 28/02/2019

Acceptance date: 08/05/2018

Date deposited: 30/07/2018

ISSN (print): 0261-3875

ISSN (electronic): 1748-121X

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/lst.2018.41


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