Sue James

Lawyer and access to justice champion

“There is always a story beneath the story,” says Sue James.

A housing solicitor for 22 years, Sue knows how to find and use it. Now, she runs a busy court housing duty scheme, providing last-minute help to people facing eviction or repossession.

Sue has worked in a number of law centres and private practice. She used to be a mental health solicitor, representing the most vulnerable people detained under the Mental Health Act. Sue is a trustee for Ealing Law Centre and was shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2013. Through her law centre work, Sue provides support for marginalised and vulnerable communities so they can make their voices heard.

One of her client’s stories was incorporated into ‘The Invisible’, a play about legal aid, at the Shepherds Bush Theatre last year. Sue wants the media to do more to put a spotlight on what is happening to the most vulnerable in our society.

More information about Sue

Previous talks at Being The Story

The Power of Stories to Make the Invisible Visible

Sue’s mantra to “find the story and give the client a voice” guides her work. At Being The Story 2016 she described what her “normal” looks like. Sue shared her belief that in order to find solutions for people, it’s important to know their stories. By finding someone’s story, Sue believes you can properly advocate on their behalf and ensure they get access to justice. She also set a challenge to those in positions of power, including the media, who can influence change to do more to put a spotlight on what is happening to some of the most vulnerable in our society.