Christina Blacklaws is deputy vice-president of the Law Society
You're talking to a friend of a friend at a party. How do describe what you do?
I always start out by saying I'm a solicitor. For me being a solicitor is much more than a job, it's really who I am.
If I have a little more air time then I'll happily describe my current roles as chief operating officer at Cripps - responsible for strategic change and operational management - and deputy vice president at the Law Society. This involves a range of challenging activities from large scale public speaking and media work to engagement with the highest echelons of government.
I love every aspect of my work and can get pretty passionate about the issues which face our profession- especially with a glass of wine in my hand at a party!
What are you working on at the moment?
At the Law Society, I'm preparing (early I know!) for my presidential year. My three themes will be around innovation and the future practice of law, women in leadership and pro bono and access to justice. I am determined to do all I can to progress these issues. We all have a part to play to achieve equality of opportunity and reward for all solicitors and improve the justice landscape for the most vulnerable.
At Cripps, we've implemented a new operation model, built agile working practices moved to new premises and into the cloud. We have a transformative ICT programme which is due to go live later on in the year so I'm definitely kept busy!
How did you get in to law?
I loved legal dramas as a child (who remembers Petrocelli?!) and had an early sense of the vital role law plays in all our lives. I studied jurisprudence at Oxford and went on to do the Bar Exams but decided I'd had enough of ivory towers so moved to an all-women firm in Brixton working in social justice, mental health and public law children's cases.
Share some great advice you've been given
I've had the great good fortune to have met a number of amazing women who, throughout my career, have given me sound advice and, perhaps more importantly, great support. However, it was something my mother said to me as a young person which has guided me. It's simple but I think it's wise: 'work hard and be nice to people'.
What's in your desk drawer?
I'm ashamed to admit it but it's full of shoes!
Can you recommend a local lunch or coffee spot?
Well, we are so spoiled for choice around Chancery Lane but I would have to go for my favourite: the Delaunay on Aldwych for its old fashioned glamour and lovely staff.
How do you relax?
What's that? But seriously, I love to run, walk the dogs, see friends and family and have good conversation and, of course, wine! I adore Shakespeare and see every production at the Globe and, on holiday, I love to scuba dive, hike, cycle and canoe. You could say I'm not really one for lounging around!
What's your pet hate?
Can I please have two? Negativity and littering - grhhh!
What book is on your bedside table?
I'm currently reading 'The Children's Book' by A. S. Byatt - love her writing.
What's your favourite city?
Apart from London, of course, it would have to be Florence - the most magical, beautiful and romantic of cities!