Question 1: Where did you study law and why did you want to become a lawyer?
As cliched as it sounds I read to Kill a Mockingbird when I was at school which sparked my interest in the law and legal systems. During my schooling, I always knew that I wanted to work in an area which would allow me to try and make a difference to people lives. However, when I left school, I didn’t have a clear path or idea how I could achieve this, so I made the decision to study geography at Newcastle University. During this course, I studied human geography which covered areas such as race and racism; gender inequalities and the impact of economic factors of criminal behaviours. This solidified my interest in the law and led me to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at Northumbria University gaining distinctions in both.
Question 2: Why did you want to specialise in Family law?
When I was undertaking my studies I found family law and criminal law the most interesting subject areas and also felt that working in these areas would provide me with the opportunity to try and help people during very difficult and challenging times in their lives. I feel very privileged to have specialised in family law as my clients can be particularly vulnerable and are trusting me to guide them through what can be a very traumatic time.
In my area of work, I am required to deal with challenging cases relating to domestic abuse and care proceedings. In undertaking this work, I work alongside a number of charities, refuges and young people’s housing providers, who provide a safe haven for people who may longer be able to remain safely in their homes or who may not have a home at all. As a team we felt it was important that we assist the clients of these charities, not only to obtain legal protection but also to try and make their safe spaces as comfortable as possible. We have therefore undertaken a number of collections for the charity, Changing Lives, to provide their clients with some home comforts such as toiletries, warm clothing and food parcels. Being involved in efforts such as this, and working so closely with these excellent local charities, is another very gratifying part of my role as a family lawyer.
Question 3: What has been your greatest achievement at Swinburne Maddison?
I would say that my greatest achievement is my recent promotion to associate solicitor. In addition to this, I have worked very closely with our marketing team in the implementation of our online tool which makes the services we offer more accessible and convenient to any potential clients who may wish to instruct us to act on their behalf or who simply require some initial advice. This is particularly pertinent in the current climate where face-to-face meetings may not be a realistic option for many of our clients. This tool ensures that our team continue to be accessible to our clients from the comfort of their own homes.