The overseer of London’s courts, as well as courts within the South East circuit, is the youngest female judge in UK history. Briony Clarke is only 31-years-old and was recently sworn in as a deputy district judge at Chelmsford Crown Court. Her law career began as a 15 year old doing work placement while in high school. Her estimated retirement date will be somewhere around January 2056.
Clarke’s career has already seen many milestones achieved within a short space of time. She served as administrative assistant at 14 for Taylor, Haldane, Barlex; she studied and received her law degree while still working for the firm; she later became an associate attorney and then made partner after just one year of practicing.
Her career achievements and loyalty to the law firm in which she got her start has only helped to catapult her into great success earning her the honor of becoming the youngest female judge to sit on the bench in the UK. She is not, however, the youngest judge. That honor belongs to Richard Wright who became the youngest deputy district judge at only 29 years of age in 2006.
Clarke is expected to continue practicing law while sitting on the bench part-time as deputy district judge. It is a dual responsibility having to maintain order in the courtroom for part of the time, and acting as an officer of the court on the behalf of individuals or entities at other times. Ethics come into play for such a prominent role, and Clarke will need to adhere to the Guide to Judicial Conduct for characteristics such as impartiality, integrity, competence, and diligence.
She will have the incredible responsibility of keeping her personal and private lives separate both as an attorney and as a judge. It is a feat that not all attorneys will experience in their professional careers. It is a lot for a young attorney to have on her plate, but judging by Clarke’s previous accomplishments, it is nothing she will not be able to handle.
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