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). Since January 2023, I am also a Teaching Fellow at the School of Law. 

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

Student education

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • Tort Law 
  • Disability Law 
  • Human Rights and Disabled People 1
  • Human Rights and Disabled People 2
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Inequalities Law and Justice

I am the Module Leader for Human Rights and Disabled People 1.

Research groups and institutes

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