Leona Samuda is affiliated with The Open University Law School.
Leona’s research focuses on diversity and inclusion within the modern English law industry. Specifically, she is exploring the access of non-traditional lawyers, women and members of ethnic minorities into the legal services market. She is supervised by Dr Emma Jones and Dr Caroline Derry.
Academically, she was awarded an upper second-class Law Degree at the University of Hertfordshire. Furthermore, she secured a scholarship with Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme which aided her to complete the Legal Practice Course. She continued to read law at the University of Hertfordshire and was awarded a master’s degree in Law with Commendation.
Prior to pursuing her full time PhD program, she worked as a volunteer for Luton Citizens Advice Bureau and the Luton Law Centre. Upon receiving her qualifications, she worked as a Legal Officer in property law and conveyancing. She also received invaluable legal work experience at BP Legal, Simmons and Simmons and Lingua Law.
She has personally been affected by the lack of opportunities in the legal services market for women with primary caring responsibilities and due to her non-traditional background, she was faced with many barriers preventing her from qualifying as a solicitor.
Leona is now aiming to raise awareness and highlight the struggle that women and ethnic minority lawyers endure on daily basis in the hostile environment of modern English law industry. With her research she firmly believes that the traditional culture of legal profession will become inclusive of talented lawyers, regardless of their backgrounds.
Leona has recently published a trilogy of memoirs entitled ‘Purple snow dust’ depicting her personal journey through life, leading onto her current research project. She also started a blog ‘The mother of PhD’ in which she describes the joys and hardships of everyday life as a mother and a PhD student. She is passionate about empowering women and young people who feel that their insecurities are preventing them from reaching their full potential. She visits local colleges and sixth forms and runs workshops, aiming to inspire and motivate those who lack confidence in achieving their dreams.