In Your Defence: Stories of Life and Law
Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They ar...more
These are the stories of a young woman barrister who represented a wide range of people. The most outstanding cases were the 17 year old - but 18 and an adu ...more
In barrister turned author Sarah Langford’s book, ‘In Your Defence: Stories of Life and Law’, we meet eleven clients that Sarah represented (or had legal dealings with) and which their stories had have stayed with her. The cases are varied and whilst some were handled in the family courts, others were serious enough to go before the Crown.
Each chapter is a new case. At the beginning, you are given the clients name, where they were tried and the ...more
"I could not shake off a sense that I had forgotten one of the most important lessons my job had taught me. There was no one truth, there was no one story. Instead there were, behind every case, just webs of messy ...more
This one did take me a while to read but that was basically I found all of the case stories inspired by real-life court cases extremely interesting. The author herself works in law as a defence barrister and In Your Defence chronicles a selection of her most memorable cases from her time in the courtroom. Some of them contained topics that were hard to read about ...more
It's a good, humane, fascinating read, well written and engaging, and just a *tad* liable to make you want to move to a yurt and never speak to another human again because God people are awful. ...more
Erm for me this was a book of two parts, there was the frustrated author air to this in parts, "the wispy tendrils of the morning fog were ever evident on the cold ground"
But when you get to the meat and two veg of it this is a unique and thought provoking book that does not pull its punches. The family Court chapters are particularly hard if you are a parent.
Worth a read when it comes out on paperback
This was an articulately written account, and posed many thought provoking issues. The author is an English graduate before turning her hand to law, and her love of books, words and language is displayed in her book.
Recommend read for fans of true crime and th ...more
It only loses a star because it has notes on the text, but I didn’t realise til the end of the book as it’ ...more
Highly appreciated reading about the chaos of families entering a system designed with lawyers and barristers at the heart, alone and representing themselves.
Legal aid cuts mentioned throughout which is to be expected also like the reference to the ramshackle nature of many of our Magistrates Courts.
Oddly enough I'd even lik ...more
I also found some of the language, particularly at the end of chapters, a bit flowery.
If I could give this 3.5 stars I would.
Langford is a brilliant author but I wanted to hear more! She briefly touches upon at the end of the book being a woman in a male-dominated profession and the sexism she faced but this felt like an afterthought to an otherwise fascinating book.
More specifically, "In Your Defence..." is a contemporary account of the work of an ordinary Barrister, plying their trade in the run-of-the-mill magistrate and Crown courts in the south of England, practising in criminal defence and the family courts.
Surprising in its ordinariness, the work described is far from the world of th ...more
"i was a hired mouthpiece, paid to lend my gifts of education and art to my clients, and to lead them, in all their shades of grey, through the black and white of the law. i was paid to tell their stories for them when they could not do so themselves." ...more
I am sure it helped that I could relate to some of the terms and situations because of my own knowledge of the court system, but I really did enjoy the way Sarah Langford brings her stories and experience to the page.
This is a book that has not only some educational information along the way, and almo ...more
This was a great read. I thought the inclusion of the legislation prior to each account really helped me to understand how the charge related to the individuals (alleged) actions in a very clear and practical way. This book would have helped me greatly whilst studying criminal evidence because of how well the author includes details that sometimes you are just expected to know; and she does this in a way that I have not found in any textbook so far, espe ...more
The first thing that becomes apparent is how Langford's passion is really inspiring. It shows all throughout her writing and it made going through the book a pleasure, because you can visibly feel how much she cares about the cases she participated in.
Some cases covered were more interesting than others, which is to be expected. Still, at the end of every chapter is quality commentar ...more