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Margaret Thatcher: Inns of Court School of Law alumna

Britain's first female Prime Minister and one of its longest serving dies aged 87

nullBaroness Margaret Thatcher's high-profile career in Government is well documented. However, less well known is the fact that, before successfully entering the world of politics, she trained to be a Barrister at the Inns of Court School of Law (now The City Law School).

Born on 13 October 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, after leaving school, Margaret Thatcher initially pursued a career as a research scientist. She studied Chemistry at Somerville College, University of Oxford, between 1943 and 1947. During her time there she was elected President of the University's Conservative Association and following her graduation, she was selected as the Conservative candidate for Dartford. Two consecutive general election defeats followed.

In 1952, Thatcher decided to enrol at the Inns of Court School of Law (ICLS) to study for the Bar Vocational Course (BVC). The ICLS, which became part of City University London in 2001, was the original provider of the obligatory professional training for barristers in England and Wales. As a student on the BVC, Thatcher would have honed her skills in opinion writing, litigation and advocacy. Each of these would be put to use as she climbed the political ladder. On completion of the course in 1954, she was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn.

In 1959, she was elected as Conservative MP for Finchley. By 1970, Prime Minister Ted Heath had selected her for the role of Education Secretary and within five years, she had defeated him in the Tory leadership contest.

Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain's first female Prime Minister in 1979. She remained in the highest public office for more than eleven years, winning by a landslide in 1983 and maintaining her position with a third general election victory in 1987.

Her time in power was marked by the Falklands Islands conflict of 1982; a prolonged battle with trade unions; the 'Right to Buy' policy on home ownership and the privatisation of nationalised industries.

She resigned in 1990 after facing a leadership challenge and two years later stood down as an MP. She was appointed a peeress in the House of Lords with the title of Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven and continued giving speeches and lectures across the world. In 1995 she became a member of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in England.

Margaret Thatcher, born 13 October 1925; died 8 April 2013.

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