Bolton School Senior Boys

Leading UK Judge Offers Legal Career Insights

Bolton School was delighted to welcome back former pupil and one of the UK’s leading judges, The Rt Hon Lord Justice Ryder. He spoke to the Boys’ Division in the morning’s Full Assembly and then elaborated further on his work in law to a more intimate lunch-time gathering of Law Society students who were interested in pursuing a career in this field. 

Sir Ernest opened his erudite presentation by comparing two contrasting views on how society should be run – one of despotism from nineteenth century Venezuelan statesman, Simon Bolivar and one of democracy from Sir Winston Churchill. Sir Ernest, who said Bolivar’s stance was antithetical to his own, reminded the boys that in our Western democracy our laws permit us to still say “no” to our Prime Minister or Lord Chancellor or other people in power. He emphasised to the audience that UK law is ever-evolving and provides the building blocks to make society work and those who go to work in law can mould its future direction. A passionate interest in law he felt was a prerequisite for the boys to succeed at university and beyond. His presentation gave a clear insight into the different careers open to boys wishing to work in Law and he explained how he had himself progressed from barrister to judge. 

Having left Bolton School in the mid-70s, Sir Ernest Ryder graduated from the University of Cambridge and has been a judge of the High Court of Justice (Family Division) since 2004. He has also been elevated to the Court of Appeal being appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws for his contribution to the legal profession by the University of Bolton in 2013 and became their Chancellor in 2014.

Sir Ernest was the first to arrive of 32 former Captains of the School who were returning for the celebratory Centenary Dinner in the evening.

Lord Justice Ryder and Sixth Form boys

Lord Justice Ryder with Saif Nawaz who is hoping to study Law at Manchester and Daniel Cook who will study Law at the University of Nottingham and hopes to be a Corporate Lawyer

The Law Society enjoyed a fascinating insight into the legal world