Just A Minute: Wendy Lyon



Wendy Lyon
Wendy Lyon

This week Wendy Lyon, solicitor with KOD Lyons in Dublin, speaks to Irish Legal News for our regular Just A Minute feature.

ILN: What has been your best experience as a lawyer?

Acting for the mother in HSE v B, the case that established a pregnant woman’s right to refuse a Caesarean section. The maternity rights group AIMS Ireland has described it as the most important maternity rights case in our lifetime - it was an incredible feeling to be part of it, especially when the judgment came down!

ILN: What has been your worst experience as a lawyer?

Any time you lose a case you really believed in, it’s the worst experience. It’s a hard reminder that the law doesn’t always work as you think it should.

ILN: Why did you choose the law?

It all started when I watched Katherine Hepburn play a lawyer in Adam’s Rib and said to myself, “I could do that”. I’m naturally argumentative and pedantic, anyway, so you could say I have the personality for it!

ILN: Who or what has been the greatest professional influence in your life?

I’m going to say Bernadette Devlin  McAliskey even though she isn’t a lawyer. She’s been the greatest influence on me as an activist and I see my law practice as a form of activism. I read The Price of My Soul at the age of 14 or 15, and it was hugely inspirational to see what could be achieved as a young woman. And she’s never stopped inspiring me.

ILN: What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in the law?

Find your niche! Having a speciality that you’re passionate about makes the work so much more interesting and rewarding.

ILN: What would you want to be if you were not a lawyer?

I’d probably be doing research and policy work.

ILN: How do you relax after work?

With the cats on my lap!

ILN: What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

San Francisco to see my parents, or anywhere I’ve never been before. I rarely go to the same place twice unless I’m visiting someone - life’s too short and there’s so much else to see!