Having been permanently excluded from school at age 11, Russell-Cooke partner Eva Akins was an unlikely candidate for a career in law. Yet, after spending most of her secondary years "in the educational wilderness", she graduated with first-class honours and completed law school while working part-time. 

After changing her speciality from criminal law to education law, Eva is now the head of Russell-Cooke's education department. Her aim is to address the inequality of opportunity and lack of access to justice in education, and the barriers parents face when trying to secure appropriate special education for their disabled children.

In this honest and open profile with the Law Society Gazette, Eva recounts her challenges, her struggles and her victories.

My legal life: Eva Akins, Russell-Cooke is available to read on the Law Society Gazette website. 

Eva is a partner and head of education law in the children and education team. Eva advises on special educational needs, Equality Act claims, admissions, exclusions, complaints, transport, exam malpractice and school governance. She also supports our specialist teams in claims involving negligence or breach of contract occurring  in education settings, and forms part of a cross-departmental team of lawyers advising schools on all aspects of governance with a view to ensuring best practice and compliance with statutory obligations.