Baroness Janet Cohen

Published 12th December 2014

Baroness Cohen has enjoyed a colourful career, excelling in a remarkably varied number of fields. A published novelist, a Labour peer and Chancellor of BPP University, Janet’s accomplishments to date can be traced back to the earliest part of her career, when she practiced as a solicitor.

Having graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge with a degree in Law, Janet hit what could have been an early stumbling block. Due to her gender, many of the top law firms flatly rejected her application to take articles with them. However, with perseverance and a bit of luck – a godfather who worked for the Law Society – she managed to get herself taken on, and qualified as a solicitor.

As a young lawyer, she moved to the USA with her husband, and this is where her career as a solicitor came to an end. Upon her return she segued into business consultancy, before orchestrating a move into the Civil Service. Staying here for 13 years before two decades of work in investment banking, Baroness Cohen’s career came full circle with her directorship of BPP Holdings – which trains graduate lawyers – before becoming Chairman and, eventually, Chancellor – a position which she holds to this day. Amongst these many accomplishments, Janet has also forged an extremely successful political career, culminating with her appointment to the House of Lords in 2000 where she sits as a Labour peer, with a particular interest in trade, industry, banking and taxation.

Janet shared some of her personal experiences in the legal field with us and spoke about the difficulties she faced as a woman in the profession, and how she overcame them. To watch the video, click here: http://www.first100years.org.uk/first-100-years-with-baroness-janet-cohen-2/