IWD 2022: Meet Emily Johnstone
3 Min Read
Emily is an associate in our Enable Law medical negligence team. She is based in Bristol and qualified into this area after training with the firm. We hear about how she uses her CSR hours to mentor young people who want to access a career in law. We also find our who her role model is and what #BreakTheBias means to her.
Tell us about your role
Every day of the week is different in my role. I deal with a variety of claims, including delayed diagnoses of cancer, avoidable amputations, and gynaecological injuries. I have also worked on several birth brain injury claims. We get to know our clients very well, as their cases are so personal and can take several years to conclude.
What drives you in your role?
Achieving justice for our clients is what drives me. Many of them have experienced life-changing injuries, which needn’t have happened. Knowing a settlement we reach gives a client has peace of mind for their future, or their child’s future is the most rewarding part of my job.
Tell us about the mentoring you do externally and what inspired you to get involved?
I’ve taken part in mentoring schemes with UWE and the Urban Lawyers charity to support students without professional contacts, or those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, find a pathway into law.
I was inspired to become a mentor because access to the legal profession is something I care deeply about. 23% of lawyers went to private school, compared to just 7.5% of the general population and 58% of lawyers have a professional socio-economic family background, compared to just 37% of the general population (find out more here). I believe mentoring students is key to increasing diversity in the legal profession and would encourage anyone who can to get involved.
What value do you think mentoring has for women to support their careers?
I think mentoring can support women’s careers in two ways.
- Being mentored allows you to learn from those more experienced than you and find out how they have overcome workplace challenges and prejudices. This enables you to better carve out your own path and proactively move your career forwards.
- Becoming a mentor not only helps you support others to progress their career it also helps you reflect on your own development and achievements and hone your coaching and leadership skills.
Which women are your role models, and what about them inspires you?
I look to many women as role models, including Baroness Doreen Lawrence, campaigner and founder of the Stephen Lawrence Foundation. She inspires me because, following the personal tragedy of her son’s murder, she has devoted her life to campaigning for victims of racist crime and ensuring that other families don’t have to go through what she did.
What does #BreakTheBias mean to you?
For me #BreakTheBias means removing harmful stereotypes and discrimination, not only in respect of gender, but other things that can marginalise people too, such as race, disability, and sexual orientation. We cannot truly #BreakTheBias in one area without addressing all of them.