Alice Krzanich

Thesis title: Female servants in early 19th century Scotland: legal principles of the master-servant relationship as they applied to women in the period 1800-1850


Alice Krzanich is a second-year PhD student conducting research in legal history at the School of Law. Alice originally comes from New Zealand and has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Auckland, NZ, as well as a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History from the same institution. In 2017 she completed a Master of Law (First Class) from the University of Cambridge.


Alice also has practical experience working in law. Following undergraduate studies she was a judges' clerk at the New Zealand Court of Appeal, helping members of the judiciary research and write judgments. She has also worked as a solicitor in a boutique public law firm; spent time as a junior barrister employed by a Queens Counsel; and also had the opportunity to work as part of an in-house legal advisory team for an aviation recruitment company. All of these experiences have informed and influenced her understanding of law and its historical development.


Responsibilities & affiliations

Alice is a member of the following organisations:

  • The Stair Society
  • Scots Legal History Group
  • Women's History Scotland
  • Postgraduate Gender Research Network of Scotland

Research summary

Alice's research looks at Scots master-servant law as it applied to female domestic servants in the first half of the nineteenth century, when Scotland was becoming an industrial nation. This research is situated within the developing field of women’s legal history and involves the study of law and gender; law and economics; and the historical study of contract law.


Current research interests

Alice is particularly focussed on the contractual aspects of master-servant law as it applied to women, including issues surrounding the hiring and dismissal of female servants, as well as the obligations female servants owed to masters/mistresses and vice versa. Alice's research will consider to what extent nineteenth-century notions of gender influenced the application and formation of these contractual principles, and what this reveals about the law's attitude to women who worked in the household.

Conference details

In June 2019 Alice presented a paper summarising her PhD research at the Postgraduate Gender Research Network of Scotland Annual Conference.