Dr Maria Orchard


I joined the School of Law as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in January 2019. I work on the ERC-funded project 'Inclusive Public Space: Law, Universality and Difference in the Accessibility of Streets' alongside Professor Anna Lawson (Principal Investigator), Dr Liz Andrews (Research Support Officer), Dr Ieva Eskye and Dr Leonardo Sandoval-Guzman (Postdoctoral Research Fellows).

Prior to this, I completed my PhD at the University of Bristol (2018). My doctoral research was an interdisciplinary project jointly supervised by the University of Bristol Law School and the Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies; I employed methods of narrative inquiry and thematic analysis to explore the experiences of seven disabled women with their respective legal system (that of England and Wales or California, USA) in the context of domestic violence or abuse, identifying the barriers and facilitators each participant encountered in her quest for ‘justice’. 

Research interests

Disability law and policy; feminist disability studies; issues surrounding accessibility, inclusion and access to justice; socio-legal methodology; group activism and advocacy; international human rights law.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Law
  • LLM International Human Rights Law and Labour Rights
  • JD International and Comparative Law
  • BA Political Science and Foreign Languages

Professional memberships

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice
  • Disability Law Hub