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Personal profile


Jess is a socio-legal empirical researcher, specialising in issues of access to justice and family law. She is particularly interested in innovations that improve the accessibility of legal systems as well as the empowerment and capabilities of those experiencing legal need.

Jess has published widely on these issues in a variety of leading academic journals and book publishers. Her forthcoming monograph Litigants in Person and the Family Justice System (Hart, 2022) is the first comprehensive book to examine the issue of self-representation in the family courts. 

Jess joined Monash after establishing her career in the UK, where she previously held the position of Lecturer in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, and prior to that, Doctoral Researcher and Graduate Tutor at the Centre for Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds.

Research interests

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Self representation and lay participation in legal systems
  • Family dispute resolution
  • The role of technologies in faciliating access to justice, including blended/hybrid legal support and remote court hearings
  • Legal aid policy and governance
  • Innovations in advice provision and legal support
  • Understandings of legal need, legal capability and legal literacy
  • Family violence and legal systems abuse
  • Socio legal theory and approaches
  • Empirical legal methods and qualitative methodology


Jess has an established record of consulting with the public and third sectors in the UK across her research interests. Previously she has undertaken consultancy work for organisation including: The Access to Justice Foundation, The Ministry of Justice, and the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Leeds

Award Date: 20 May 2020

MRes, University of Leeds

Award Date: 29 Oct 2015

LLB, University of Leeds

Award Date: 30 Jul 2014

Research area keywords

  • Access to Justice
  • Family Law
  • Legal Technology
  • dispute resolution
  • Empirical Legal Research
  • Socio-Legal Studies


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