Women Career Wednesday

Make sure you pop by every Wednesday to have a read of our latest "5 minutes with"

 

5 Minutes with… Nicola Hardy, Senior Associate Solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP

                                 

 

What is your job role?

I am a qualified Solicitor, and Senior Associate working for Simpson Millar LLP. I work for the CEO and Managing Partner, Greg Cox, as part of the Management Team.

In addition to my role within the Management team, I also handle a small caseload of Personal Injury cases which have a focus on accidents abroad involving Clients with significant injuries and I am also the Firms Training Principal.

 

What does a typical day for you look like?

My role is wide ranging and varied which means that no two days are the same, it is one of the reasons I enjoy my role as much as I do!

My days always start the same with a short session with Greg and his executive PA to review the diary, prepare for the day and structure our time as a team.

From then on the days can either be spent in meetings, in board meetings or on more traditional casework. Assisting the CEO means that I can often be tasked with working on specific projects which affect the firm as a whole.

I have a particular interest in the development of our people, in addition to being the Firms Training Principal I am always heavily involved in our promotions boards and process as well as our newly launched Apprenticeship Scheme.

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

Of course, I like to think I have qualities which you would associate with a Solicitor in practice such as being organised and level headed, but I think my strongest quality is my enthusiasm.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I came to law as a career prospect quite late by comparison to others within the profession; I didn’t have a desire to be a Solicitor from a young age. In fact, it wasn’t until I attended an open evening for college and was looking at possible options for A ‘Levels that I became aware of this as a possible career choice.

I opted to choose Law as an AS level expecting I may drop it in favour of my other classes in my second year but was enthralled after the first few classes and that was it, once my mind is made up on something it can be quite difficult to change. 

 

Who inspires you?

I have been incredibly lucky working for Simpson Millar LLP for almost my entire career, I have had the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from some amazing Solicitors, I could list the ones who have been an inspiration, but there are quite a few to choose from!

People more generally who inspire me are those with the drive to succeed, who have pride in what they do, the Clients they help, the firm they work for and work consistently to make themselves and others around them the best they can be.

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

This has to be one of the most challenging aspects of a career in law, it is unpredictable, fast paced and demanding.

Keeping a balance between working and your personal life can be a task and a half, I admit that I am not always successful in balancing the two.

I am fortunate to work for a firm which values work life balance, and constantly encourages colleagues to take a step back and readjust, I also have a supportive husband and family who help me to refocus when I need too.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring lawyer?

Legal Services isn’t like ‘Suits’ I have many colleagues who have joined Simpson Millar, and this is their first experience of legal services, to say they are disappointed that they didn’t walk onto the set of suits is an understatement!

My advice is to get experience, expect the unexpected and put yourself out there. Take on tasks which challenge you, accept that no one has all the answers and be prepared to challenge others (even more senior colleagues). It is an incredibly exciting time for young and aspiring lawyers at the moment, they have a lot to offer in a changing and challenging legal services market, and I’m always so interested to hear their views.

 

How do you deal with challenges at work?

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a ‘list’ person, I believe anything can be solved with a list.

Time permitting, I like to sit and take stock, work out the options I have on how to deal with something and then walk away from it, leave the list for another day.

I like to go back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective, if I’m still struggling, then I will take Counsel from colleagues – outline what is happening and what I see my options as being.

Sometimes talking it through with another will actually help you reach a conclusion all on your own and if not then they often have the insight you hadn’t considered, and that can help you tackle a problem.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Problem solving is a huge part of the job, and I have always considered myself to be good at it. That being said, some problems can feel too big.

I remember being on my training contract, I had a problem which felt beyond my abilities and impossible, the advice I was given came from my Training Principal.

Very calmly he told me to stop, take my problem and break it down into its component parts. You can’t fix a big problem in one go, so identify the elements you need to work on, in working on smaller elements you will ultimately fix the whole problem.

No problem is too big if you look at it like that, and I have approached many challenges since in this way since.

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job?

Partners are only human, even they can make mistakes, no one (not even a 20 year PQE Solicitor) knows everything, we are all still learning and just because your view is different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I always find this question so difficult to answer, in fact, it was a question I was asked in my promotions interview this year, and I am not ashamed to admit I didn’t have a perfect answer!

I think in the past I have always imagined I would go down the traditional route, and within 5 years I would have said Partner within Simpson Millar LLP, possibly with a department of my own.

After taking on my current role I don’t want to restrict myself to the ‘traditional’, Simpson Millar is going on a journey over the next 5 years, and I am thrilled to be part of building the Firm, I don’t know what my role will look like in 5 years’ time but I’m excited to find out.

 

5 Minutes with… Clare Marsh, Property Litigation Solicitor, Weightmans

 

What is your job?

I am a newly qualified solicitor in the Property Litigation team at Weightmans, and I do work for both residential/social landlords and commercial client.

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

Definitely being organised. I think this helps me prioritise my work and keep calm when I have a lot on my to-do list. I think you can quickly become overwhelmed if you are busy and don't know what you need to do and when, so I find keeping my calendar up to date with what is due and when means that I keep on top of everything. 

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I have wanted to be a solicitor since I was about 14! I like the opportunity to be challenged with new things every day, whilst building up an expertise in my chosen area. I've always had an interest in property and real estate, and discovered my love of litigation during my training contract, so I've qualified into the perfect team. 

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

Sometimes work can flow into the evenings and weekends, but I try and keep a bit of perspective. I play in a local orchestra, so that's a great way to wind down when work has been busy! I love spending quality time with my friends, fiancé and family so this is all the motivation I need to be productive during the week, so I can enjoy my weekends with them.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring lawyer?

Find the balance between asking good questions and using your initiative! Sometimes people are afraid to ask, or feel as though they are getting on people's nerves. In my experience, that really isn't the case. As a trainee and NQ, sometimes 80% of my day is asking questions but this is how I learn! That being said, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't try and work things out for yourself first time round, but this then helps you ask much more useful and productive questions.

 

How do you deal with challenges at work?

Sometimes if I've been stuck on something for a little while, I think it's really helpful to just have a bit of time away from it and let your brain work it out in the background. I usually find when I look back at it, I get much further. I also think having a supportive team really helps. I can chat through a problem with any of my colleagues and saying it out loud often is all I need to help work it out!

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Be yourself! It's a cliché but it's so true. It's hard work trying to be something you're not, on top of doing a difficult job, so just be you.

 

 

5 minutes with…. Cathy Fielding, Partner at EAD part of Simpson Millar LLP

Cathy Fielding is a Partner at EAD part of Simpson Millar LLP and was previously a director of the Liverpool Law Society.

                               

Why did you choose to go into law?

I always wanted a career which gave me the chance to help people. As a solicitor I do just that, whether it's colleagues or clients I enjoy helping and supporting with anything they need.

 

Who inspires you?

It would have to be my mother in law. She was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in November 2016 and sadly passed away in July 2017. However, despite the debilitating nature of the condition and the fear and anxiety that came with the diagnosis, she consistently remained positive. No matter how challenging her condition was, she always pushed herself and remained focused throughout.

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

It has to be my hard work ethic. I really pride myself on the fact that I always give 100%, pushing myself to put everything into what I do. This definitely helps in the workplace where at times, there's a lot to deal with. It's given me the ability to push hard and work through any challenge that comes my way.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Never give up on your dreams. It's definitely something that I, in turn, would give to those just starting out. If you believe you can get there, work hard and you will!

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

I like to work as hard as I possibly can in the week so that I can properly relax at the weekends. For down time, you just can't beat spending time with family and friends.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

Its two-fold: you have to be organised. Without top notch organisation it's easy to get stressed over juggling tasks and dealing with a heavy case load. The second point would be communication. Good communication skills will ensure you're able to build those key relationships with colleagues and clients.

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

Most of the time it's simply a case of stepping back and reviewing the bigger picture. What might seem like a huge issue on a first glance, can easily be resolved by seeing things from all perspectives. What's important is to remain in the moment. Focus on the issue at hand, stay positive, and think logically of the steps you need to take in order to resolve it.

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

I think it's definitely more competitive now than it was- and a lot more challenging! That's why it's so important for young professionals to get themselves out there, get experience, go networking and get involved with professional bodies to build up

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job?

Everyone makes mistakes and it's ok to drop the ball every now and again. It's all about learning from the mistakes you make, and creating solutions to deal with challenges before they become big problems.

 

September 2018

 

 

5 Minutes With… Jayne Croft, Corporate Solicitor at Brabners LLP and current chair of the Future Boss Club

Jayne is a Corporate Solicitor at Brabners LLP and is involved with a number of organisations across Merseyside that promote and foster Women in business and leadership. Jayne is the current Chair of Future Boss Club that organises networking and training events for women under 35 who are "Future Bosses". We love their events and encourage you all to attend too!

 

  

Why did you choose to go into law?

I have always wanted a job that involved helping people. Combining that with an incessant need to always be right and have the last word made a career in law seem like the right choice!

 

Who inspires you?

Normal people who go through difficult times but still get up every day and do whatever it is they do to make a difference in their own way. For example, Irene Afful was a black female, growing up in Toxteth in the 80s, racially abused by members of the police force. She was well within her rights to become bitter towards the police but instead she joined the force, worked on racism from the inside out and became the first black female detective inspector in Merseyside Police. People like that motivate me to do my bit.

 

What is the best part of your day?

That moment when you have your first cup of coffee in the morning!

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

I don't generally feel stressed about my job as I see it as a 'mind over matter' thing. If you have a lot of work to do, just get stuck into it. The more time you waste stressing about it, the longer it will take you to just get the work done. 

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

It is something that I have struggled with in the past and something that you have to actively work at because it's so easy for the balance to slip. It is the nature of this job that there are a lot of social events, so it's important to learn to manage your time and your diary effectively.

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job?

That it's ok to be yourself. Employers aren't looking for clones. They want people with their own personality who can connect well with clients and colleagues.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

I think there are two. Firstly, you need to be a people person. Whilst you can have the best academics in the world, if you can't connect with your client, you will struggle. The second is assertiveness. It is important to understand that sometimes it's ok to say no. Whether that is to a manager, a demanding client or an intimidating lawyer on the other side; there will always be someone who tries to take advantage of your junior level.

 

How would your colleagues describe you?

The crazy dog lady who likes unicorns, fluffy pens and prosecco!

 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Never to give up. I was in my second year at university when I realised I didn't really have a clue what I was doing. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer and I naively thought that I just needed to do a law degree and everything would fall into place. I had no idea about applying two years in advance for training contracts, or the importance of filling my CV with work experience. I had a massive wobble.

I had similar wobbles trying to get a training contract. It's definitely a long game and you have to be very patient, especially now when there are so many non-traditional routes to qualification available. The was a few times when I thought I'd never get a training contract and have seriously considered leaving the profession altogether for fear that I'd 'passed my sell by date' for a training contract. 

This was absolutely ridiculous on my part as everyone is on their own path and working at their own speed. As I did a master's degree after I completed my LLB, I essentially felt like I was two years behind everyone else, but in the grand scheme of things, this is just a drop in the ocean.

 

What changes would you like to see in the profession?

I would like to see more women at senior level, and changes to the structure of the training process (from LPC onwards) as it is outdated and in some ways excludes those from non-traditional backgrounds.

 

Are there any groups in Merseyside you recommend young lawyers to join?

Lots! Professional Liverpool and Merseyside Young Professionals are both fantastic organisations that can help you to build your network. Also (and I'm biased because I'm involved with them) Liverpool Ladies Network and Future Boss Club, both of which are aimed at females who want to develop professionally.

 

 

 

 

5 Minutes With… Louise Wilson is a senior associate at Hill Dickinson LLP

Louise Wilson is a senior associate at Hill Dickinson LLP. She works for the healthcare advisory team that provides advice to NHS Trusts, CCG's and private health providers throughout the country. She has particular expertise in mental health and mental capacity law, community care and inquest work.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I wanted to be a vet and didn't get the A Level chemistry grade I needed! I was always interested in doing a law degree later in life but brought it forward when an animal science degree wasn't taking me where I wanted to be. Criminal law really appealed to me and that is the area where I initially went into practice.

 

Who inspires you?

My sister. She is a solicitor too but 11 years older than me so she was already qualified when I was going through University. She started out as a legal secretary and worked her way up. She is like an encyclopaedia of mental health law and really inspires me with the breadth of her knowledge and experience. I have the pleasure of now working alongside her.

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

I think I am rational and a good communicator with people. This helps me to mediate situations with clients and I am able to explain things to people in terms they understand. Showing empathy with someone's situation goes a long way in developing good communication.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

That everyone deserves representation, and that can be very different to defending someone's actions. I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me how I can 'defend people I know are guilty'. In my experience, the public perception is that solicitors can lie to the court for their client which of course could not be further from the truth. I have worked across the areas of criminal law, prison law and human rights, healthcare and mental health/mental capacity law and this advice helped me to deal with clients with the most horrific offending histories.

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

With difficulty! I have a horse and a dog which means I have to be in certain places at certain times and that can help in making me leave the office. I am also active in sports clubs and volunteering. I enjoy work so am happy to commit long hours, but as I have got older I definitely see the need for a strong work/life balance and encourage younger lawyers in our team to ensure they keep that as far as possible. I try to keep longer hours to weekdays now and avoid working on weekends. Work hard, play hard is definitely in my psyche so I make the weekends count!

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

Everyone will mess up on something at some point to some extent. The important thing is to be honest about it and get assistance from more experienced people sooner rather than later. It will ultimately make you a better lawyer as you learn from those mistakes and don't forget the things that have mortified you! 

 

 5 Minutes With… Beverley Bell, former Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain

 

 

Beverley Bell was the Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain and Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England before she retired in May 2017. She was responsible for the regulation of the commercial vehicle industry. She now undertakes consultancy work providing strategic, governance and compliance reviews. Born in Nigeria and educated at Merchant Taylors' Girls' School in Crosby after which she read law at Liverpool University, Beverley was admitted as a solicitor in 1985 and established her own practice in 1994, specialising in criminal and transport law.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

 

I always wanted to be a solicitor from when I was 14 - my school history teacher said that it directly affected everything we do from the size of the milk bottle of our daily pinta on the doorstep (it was 1974!) to the speed our mother or father drove their car on the school run to the way we elected our politicians - that was it for me - I was hooked.

 

Who inspires you?

 

Generally - anyone who never gives up in the face of adversity and who is resolute in their determination to succeed and to never give up. Specifically - my headmistress from when I was at Merchant Taylors Girls School in Crosby from 1971 to 1978. In those days she was a slightly terrifying person whom the girls were scared of and adored in equal measures. Today I know her in my capacity as Chair of Governors. She is now 91 years old, still dresses with beautifully understated elegance with elegantly coiffured hair and when taken out for lunch generally has a large steak pie with chips and a large glass of red wine regardless of the time of day - chats away for hours on end and mind as sharp as a tack - what's not to love - she is my eternal role model

 

What is the best part of your day?

 

First thing before the world is up and the house and garden are quiet (between 05 30 and 06.00am generally) - you can get so much done in that first hour with no distractions and a sense of peace and calm

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

 

Gosh that is a tough one! Others would say that I am driven to succeed but I don't agree. I suppose I would say it is my resilience - I have had to cope with more trauma in my work and home life than I should but despite that I have never given up and I have always carried on - and my empathy for others who make mistakes and who need to be given a second chance.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

 

By my father when I learnt to drive aged 17 and drove my mother's Austin Allegro into a tree near the pinewoods in Freshfield when he took me out for a driving lesson and he wasn't concentrating - never drive beyond your own capabilities and the capabilities of the car!

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

 

Easy peasy lemon squeezy - speak to lots of people and seek out their advice - everyone has an opinion and whilst many will not be of help there will always be a nugget of great advice from someone that you never thought of - take that nugget and apply it to your own problem solving approach and before you know it when you add that into the mix your challenge or problem will be solved.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

 

I used to come home and have more cigarettes and alcohol than was good for me but this year I gave up both with the Allen Carr easy way to stop smoking and drinking. Now I come home and have a large Royal Refresher (lime cordial, ginger beer, fresh lime, fresh mint and lots of ice), put my feet up and read the Times before I cook supper. That "me time" marks the distinction between work and home and allows me to enjoy my evening.

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

 

In some ways beyond recognition and in others it is just the same! Men in the law (and generally) still think they are better than they really are and women still think they are not as good as they really are! Men still apply for many jobs for which they are not really qualified or suited - but often blag their way to get it. Women still don't apply for many jobs for which they would be perfect as they lack confidence - or they don't want the hassle that goes with it. The press are still in the dark ages - strong men are described in glowing terms - heroic, strong, decisive, inspirational leaders etc. Strong women are described in derogatory terms - bossy, dominating, controlling. There still aren't enough female judges and tribunal chairs and I don't think there will be for many years.

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

 

I don't have my emails on my phone, I don't do social media, I put my home answerphone on in the evening and at weekends so that I can speak to who I want to when I want to - simples as the meerkats say!  

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job?

 

At age 23 that I looked far better than I thought I did and that I was wasting my time worrying that my hair was OK, that my tummy was flat and that my new Jaeger suit would help me "fit in". Looking back now I worried without any good reason - my eyes, nose, mouth and ears were all in the right place, I could string a sentence together and I was a Merchant Taylors' girl so it was all going to be fine - but I didn't know it then!

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

 

The right attitude! Talking to anyone and everyone, not being precious at all, being nice to everyone no matter where you perceive them to be in the "pecking order", being humble and never being or being perceived as arrogant, and most importantly, using plain language all the time!

 

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?

 

My great friend Nikki King - her life story would make for a fascinating book - she worked her way up her own organisation from being a shorthand typist, took on her family responsibilities when her husband left her, learnt Japanese as her company was Japanese, bought the company and recently sold out to fund a great retirement. She has always told me that you can do anything you want to do, you can be anything you want to be and you can go anywhere you want to go - and she is right. She taught me to think big and reach for the sky.

 

How would your colleagues describe you?

 

Like a terrier - the proverbial dog with a bone when I am "on the case"! Tenacious and with a good sense of humour - and of course a fabulous and loving mother!! And I also hope - tall, willowy, glamorous and graceful - but alas they will tell the truth - small, slightly overweight, wild hair and very heavy footed - but my children adore me!

 

What changes would you like to see in the profession?

 

Simple. More initiatives to promote women into senior roles and judge and tribunal chair roles

Are there any groups in Merseyside you recommend young lawyers to join?

 

Anything and everything - unless you join an organisation and put lots into it you will get nothing out. As a regulator I joined CILT and then became a Vice President and then President and I also made some great friends and very useful contacts along the way. And don't forget to join or support a local charity or not for profit organisation - they are crying out for young (and indeed all) women to join them and bring their skills to the table. You will get a huge amount out of it. I am Chair of Governors at Merchant Taylors Schools in Crosby and whilst it takes up a lot of my time I just love it and feel I am putting something back.

 

 

 

 

5 Minutes With… Anne Heseltine, Partner and Head of Litigation at Morecrofts LLP


Anne Heseltine was President of the Liverpool Law Society 2007-2008, is a partner and head of the Litigation department at Morecrofts and has also been a Deputy District Judge since 2005. Her role as a DDJ requires her to sit 30 days a year in court and the reality is that on these particular days, her other work then has to be done after a full day in court. Anne has found that the role of DDJ has helped her in her "day job" as it has been useful to know what judges expect. She has found it interesting as the jurisdiction of the District Bench is wide and covers a lot of areas outside of her work expertise so she is continually developing her knowledge.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

By accident! I always wanted to do a law degree as I thought it would be interesting (not sure I am still of that opinion!) but I didn't think I wanted a career in the law. However everyone around me at university (in London) was applying for a place at College of Law and then articles (as they then were) so I did all that while I was deciding what I wanted to do!

 

What did you enjoy most about being the President of Liverpool Law Society?

The opportunities it presented. Meeting solicitors from all over the country doing all sorts of different types of work and understanding real issues facing all areas of the profession. I particularly enjoyed the fact that everyone held Liverpool Law Society in such esteem.

 

Who inspires you?

Baroness Brenda Hale - a truly intellectual and clever woman but extremely down to earth when you meet her. She is a real role model I believe - I admire her and what she has achieved, tremendously.

 

What is the best part of your day?

First thing in the morning in the office (I am generally in early) with my first cuppa, organising my day (in theory) before the phone rings and the day is de-railed, as is usually the case.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

To remember that clients make the decisions, we only advise on their options and the consequences.

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

Beyond recognition! When I started in the property department I had to do all the completions of purchases in person i.e go by bus or train (certainly not taxi!!) to outlying suburbs of Manchester (where I did my training) armed with a bankers draft and a plastic bag to collect the deeds that were given to me. Obviously the profession, as in any walk of life is now dominated by computers, mobile phones and all things electronic, so it is much faster and requires faster responses from us.

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job that you know now?

That all the things that scared me witless - seeing clients, appearing in court, etc -would become not only second nature but the fulfilling rewarding and enjoyable part of the job I love. Also perhaps that you are not expected to know everything! There is something new to learn in this job every day.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers to develop?

I admire the young lawyers of today as I think they have acquired many more skills than I had (or probably still have)but the thing that is probably still not "taught" is the skill of managing the client's expectations.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

For many years I walked my dogs, which gave me an opportunity for peace and quiet and time to think things through. I don't have the dogs any more, but I play golf and that means I have four hours when I can't think of work. Funnily enough solutions to problems are easier to find when you return to them after a break.

 

 

5 Minutes With… Alison Lobb, Managing Partner at Morecrofts LLP

Alison was President of Liverpool Law Society in 2015-16, having been a director of the Society since 2008. She has recently won the Spirit of the City award at the Merseyside Woman of the Year Awards. Alison is currently the Managing Partner at Morecrofts LLP.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I really didn't know what I wanted to do when it came to choosing what to do at university. What attracted me to law was the idea of problem solving, in any area of life, and the satisfaction that brings.

 

Who inspires you?

Our younger staff inspire me. I look at them and see a sense of confidence and aspiration that I don't think existed amongst female trainees and young solicitors when I was at that early stage of my career. The great people in our team have the mind-set that with hard work they can achieve whatever they set out to do, they are ambitious without being arrogant, and the only problem sometimes is reining them in and helping them not to try and run before they can walk, and not to take on too much at an early stage.

 

What is the best part of your day?

I like coming in in the morning, greeting everyone and having chats with our team, but I really love being in the office late in the evening when the phones stop ringing and you can get your head down and get the big tasks tackled! That's when I am at my most productive.

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

As a fee earner, I think I am able to give bad news to a client and give them dispassionate advice without upsetting them. As a manager, I think it's being able to understand what motivates and inspires different people and help them to work through issues in their own way. I am not concerned about blaming people for mistakes, because everybody makes them, what I am interested in is seeing what lessons can be learnt for the future.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

I found it challenging moving from fee earning work into management, and trying to deal with everything at once, as I didn't appreciate at first how each requires a different approach. When I did a Management qualification we had a guest speaker who explained his take on the difference between lawyers and managers. Legal work, he said, is about perfection and attention to detail, and about making sure you get everything 100% right, as far as possible, and most lawyers are perfectionists by nature. Management is usually about getting things 80% right and then moving on to the next thing, so you shouldn't be worried if it feels like something is not completely finished. I have found that invaluable and I know it has helped several colleagues too.

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

I am a great one for taking a step back, making a list of the problems and working them through in bitesize chunks. Also, think about what the worst things is that can happen, and work back from there.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

Exercise! We all have to cope with stressful situations. To me the best way to work a problem through is to go for a swim and let it whirl round my head whilst ploughing up and down a pool, and the best way to forget work completely is to get on a tennis court where you have no choice but to cast other thoughts aside and concentrate on hitting that ball!

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

When I joined the profession most of my work was legal aid work. I didn't have to think about talking to clients about money, and I didn't have to go out and develop business. Both of those are now extremely important, and in fact in some cases almost more important than legal technical skills to create a caseload and make a profit from it. 

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job?

That no-one expects you at the start to know everything, and it's Ok to ask questions, and keep asking them, until the day you retire!

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

Networking and developing business. It's not as daunting as it sounds and it doesn't mean pushing your business card into people's faces. I describe it as going out and making friends with people. Women in particular can be very worried about going out to networking events and walking into a room of strangers. I have found that actually being a woman can be an advantage in such situations, if you walk into a room predominantly full of men, you can be a novelty and find people actually want to talk to you! Networking can be on social media too, and sometimes you don't have to leave the office to make friends and get to know people.

 

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?

Helen Broughton was my predecessor as managing partner of Morecrofts. Her leadership meant that when the time came I thought nothing of stepping up into that role, as a woman in what is still, to many extents, a man's world. Helen taught me to believe in myself and my abilities as a leader, and showed me what I could achieve.

 

How would your colleagues describe you?

I hope that they would describe me as empathetic, sensible and pragmatic, yet incisive and not afraid to push through change and make the difficult business decisions that come along for all of us.

 

What changes would you like to see in the profession?

I would like to see our regulator acting as a regulator and not trying to change the rules and dictate how we run our businesses. Year on year we see increasing demands on compliance and numerous consultations on change to the way we operate. We are the most heavily regulation profession there is, and as businesses, law firms are restricted in their development and innovation by the requirements of the SRA. In a time when other providers are coming into the market and are able to offer equivalent services in many areas, we need to be able to compete with them and position ourselves as the trusted and skilled professionals that we are; otherwise there is a danger we will lose our work and our clients to competitors under a tangle of red tape, and the profession will cease to exist.

 

Are there any groups in Merseyside you recommend young lawyers to join?

As well as WLD of course (!) - then definitely MJLD and then moving through to Liverpool Law Society (LLS). My involvement with LLS, in various roles and eventually becoming President in 2015-16, is what has given me the platform to grow my profile and make links with lawyers and other professionals across the city region and beyond. It has helped my career enormously - although like every opportunity, you only get out of it what you put in.


 

5 Minutes With… Hayley Morgan, Chartered Trade Mark Attorney with Brabners LLP

Hayley is a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney with Brabners LLP. Hayley has an MChem degree in Chemistry with Patent Law and has a wealth of experience studying and working in IP since 2007.  Hayley provides advice to clients on their intellectual property rights, including copyright, design rights and patents and with a particular focus on trade marks. She specialises in trade mark and design right prosecution and litigation. As an EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Professional Representative, Hayley prosecutes EU trade marks and EU designs at the EUIPO.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I have A levels in law and chemistry so when saw the opportunity to study for an MChem degree in Chemistry with Patent Law, I was intrigued how the two disciplines could marry together. I loved intellectual property and initially wanted to train to become a patent attorney, which requires a science/technical degree, but I found that patent attorneys will often need to sit and draft patents for a number of days. My attention span isn't long enough for that! I started working with trade marks more while at Brabners LLP and soon realised that I would like to train to become a trade mark attorney. I was lucky that Brabners agreed to fund my training, which I was able to do while working full time. I still work with patents, and all types of IP, but I don't have to draft patents. I'm a funny sort of lawyer because I am only qualified to practice one area of law - intellectual property - but that suits me as I have been working/studying in the area for 11 years so can become an expert in my area. I guess it's the scientist in me that wants to know the details about everything so focussing my attention on one area is ideal. Plus it's safer for everyone now that I am not in a lab all day!

 

What is the best part of your day?

My day is so varied but I love receiving decisions from the Intellectual Property Offices. It's not uncommon to work on a matter for 18 months so decisions are hotly anticipated. It's especially good if/when we achieve a favourable outcome because it's great to relay the good news to the client!

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Like most lawyers, I have worked really hard to get where I am. I have never had a commute that is less than an hour, have moved cities for my job, passed my first attorney exams a week before my wedding and then my final ones while I was pregnant. I have baby and work 10 hour days, five days a week. Everyone has their own challenges, but if you enjoy your job and are good at it, these challenges shouldn't hold you back. In recent years a few old friends have made comments about my career such as "We don't all have a job like yours", or "IP will just go out of fashion. It's like PPI". The best advice I have heard is "A tiger doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep." Just do what makes you happy.

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

The biggest challenge I think we all face is keeping a check on our mental health. I am a really emotional person. My daily emotions range from ecstasy to fury depending on the situation.   I often cry, even while interviewing a current colleague (thankfully she's been with us nearly two years now!) and it's an ongoing joke within the team. I think it's important to share the challenges you face, such as work load and personal commitments, with your colleagues and to ask for help when you need it. The more we can share the better and if I can help a colleague out who is struggling with something then I will do. We work as a team.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

I vent to my husband, poor man! We usually commute together so he is a captive audience. He is a doctor though so his stories involve people's health and it puts my stresses into perspective. We're both calm by the time we get home!

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

I don't take my work home. In fact, I haven't worked from home in about five years because I tend to like to keep my work/home separate. I generally don't use my work mobile and prefer to give my all while I am in the office and switch off when I get home.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

The confidence to talk to people and to ask questions. Don't be shy. It's harder to admit you don't know something when you get more senior so ask questions and learn what you can while you are junior.

 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Don't not do something because of the time it will take. The time will pass anyway.

 

July 2018

 

 

5 Minutes With… Charlotte Antrobus, NQ Solicitor at JB Leitch Limited

Charlotte recently qualified as a solicitor with the Real Estate department at JB Leitch Limited.

 

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

'Be ambitious, not thirsty'. To succeed in law, it is important to show that you are willing to take the initiative and strive for success but never compromise your own standards or values.

 

What would you say is your strongest quality?

Communication is key in every aspect of my working day. Honest communication with my clients ensures that they have realistic expectations about the progress of their cases. When delegating files to junior members of my team, I have to clearly communicate the tasks to be completed by them. Most importantly, I find concise communication with my opponents to be an essential aspect to any successful case.

 

What is the best part of your day?

I have recently started each day working on the most complex and challenging files on my desk, instead of moving them out of sight until the afternoon! The best part of my day is then ticking off all these files from my to do list, making a fresh cup of coffee and getting on with the rest of my tasks for the day. Receiving a 'thank you' from a client is also an added bonus to any day!

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

My firm prides itself on having an open door policy so if I need a second opinion on a complex matter or advice from a more experienced solicitor, then I can always rely on the support of my colleagues.  If a file is particularly challenging, I find the best way to deal with it, is to dissect the case from the start and devise a list of key issues on the file. This list will then help me to break down the issues into manageable pieces of work. Keeping an efficient diary system and neat files also ensures that I don't miss any court deadlines and demonstrates to my clients that I can competently manage their files.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

I have always been involved in music from an early age. Music is a great way to distract myself from the stresses of each working day and there are some great motivational playlists on Spotify to inspire me in the morning! After a few years of working at JB Leitch, I missed my involvement in the university choir so I auditioned for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and have since performed with truly inspirational artists such Maria Montiel and Ekaterina Gubanova. I also attend yoga and ballet barre, which are both great ways to relieve stress, through exercise and meditation.

 

June 2018

 

5 Minutes With… Amelia Hayden, Solicitor at Brabners LLP

 

Amelia Hayden was elected Chairperson of the Merseyside Women Lawyers Division in April this year having been a member of the committee for 3 years. She has recently joined Brabners LLP in Liverpool city centre as part of their growing Housing and Regeneration team. Amelia is particularly excited to lead the committee in such an important year for women in the law celebrating 100 years of being allowed to practice in the UK.

   

Why did you choose to go into law?

As cheesy as it sounds I wanted to help people, but didn't really know exactly what to do. On AS-Level results day my parents were signing their will; I went to meet them and we got chatting with the solicitor who encouraged me to come in for some work experience…8 years later I was at the same firm and qualified as a solicitor!

 

Who inspires you?

Anyone and everyone - we all have challenges we face and I'm always impressed by people day to day who just get on with it and succeed.

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

"There is no such thing as a stupid question".

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

Take a step back, identify the important points/issues, and address them one by one. Tick-lists may seem sad, but it makes a job feel manageable and like you are getting through a difficult problem if you can break it down and tick off each smaller task.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

As much as a good glass of wine is tempting, exercise is so much better. I do Ju Jitsu…so the punch bag will receive most of the stress! The real benefit of it though is that I do not look at a screen for a few hours and get moving after sitting at a desk for most of the day.

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

Planning my work (tick lists again!) and ensuring that I book things after work to give me incentive to keep to the plan!

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job?

Relax - each transaction is different so you are going to have questions, and your colleagues will also have questions about things they don't know, so you can help each other.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

Communication! We can't get away from it now with emails and mobiles. Your colleagues and clients don't want to work with a robot; if you can speak comfortably with people it will make finding a resolution to your clients' matters easier.

 

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?

I'm quite lucky in that every supervisor or solicitor I have worked with have been generous with their time and their knowledge.

 

What changes would you like to see in the profession?

I would like to see more females in leadership roles and presenting more at seminars and events. Although in nearly past 3 decades women make up 60% of new entrants into our profession, only 28% of us are partners in private practice.

 

Are there any groups in Merseyside you recommend young lawyers to join?

I may be a little biased, but WLD! Especially as we celebrate 100 years of women being legally allowed to practice law! Otherwise MJLD has some really good events for young lawyers, and Merseyside Young Professionals gives you the opportunity to network with colleagues not in the legal sector.

 

June 2018

 

 

5 Minutes With… Pauline McNamara, Managing Partner at PMC Family Law

 

Pauline McNamara has over 30 years' experience in family law and specialises in complex high net worth financial ancillary relief and issues relating to children. Pauline is acknowledged as having a particularly tenacious and forensic approach of the most complex cases and regularly deals with multi-million pound cases. She is an award winning legal professional praised by market commentators for being a "strong, concise and precise advocate". She is an experienced child care specialist having represented parents, children and grandparents in difficult cases involving alcohol, drug abuse and psychiatric issues. Pauline is also a member of the Family Law Specialist Panel and an accredited member of the Law Society. She also supports the Melanie Beattie fund and the local hospice Jospice.

Throughout her career Pauline has also acted as a mentor for junior members of her teams, training them into the new generation of solicitors who, following Pauline's guidance and support, can thrive independently. Pauline has also recently been nominated for Legal Professional of the Year at the Downtown in Business Awards 2018. Essentially PMC Family thrives on Pauline's own individual brand and the department receive a substantial amount of excellent previous client and fellow legal practitioner feedback and recommendations due to Pauline's prominence in the Family Law sector.

 

 

How would you describe your role?

I run PMC Family Law which was the subject of a re-brand initiative in July 2016. I manage the business and a team of seven employees ranging from associate solicitors, trainees, paralegals and secretaries. The brand which I have built in the last 32 years has enabled a constant stream of referrals and recommendations for the team on a daily basis. Throughout my career I have also acted as a mentor for junior members of my teams, training them into the new generation of solicitors who, with guidance and support, can thrive independently.

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I knew that I was going to be a lawyer at the age of 7. I always liked TV dramas which had Court room scenes and wanted to be a part of it. Nobody in my family was in law but I remember a very inspiring teacher told me, when I stated that I wanted to be a lawyer, that I could be anything I wanted to be. I never forgot that moment.

 

Who inspires you?

Michelle Obama. Gloria Allred. Leslie Abramson. J. K. Rowling. I am inspired by women who have started with nothing but, against all odds, have fought their way with humour and integrity to the top.

 

What is the best part of your day?

Every morning when the team and I all come into the office and catch up on what we achieved the day before. Sharing each other's stories and seeing them progress in their career.


What is the best advice you were ever given?

Attention to detail is everything.

 

How do you deal with challenges in work?

The team are very supportive of each other. If we are faced with challenges, we help each other get through it. I also have trusted mentors whom I can always go to.

 

How do you deal with the stress of the job?

I am lucky to have a large support network of friends and family both inside and outside of the business sector. I am also a season ticket holder for Everton, the stress of how Everton will play at the weekend distracts away from the stresses of the job!

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

When I was a trainee the profession was very structured, there was a very clear career path. Now the opportunities are endless and the skills obtained as a consequence of a training contract are extremely transferable. The profession is much more fluid.

 

How do you keep a work/life balance?

I try not to look at my work phone before 8am and after 6pm. I also try to look at my work emails as little as possible at the weekends so that I am able to have a break.

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job that you know now?

That it was the most rewarding profession and I would still be fulfilled and excited by it 32 years later.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

Resilience is key, you have to know who you are and own your values. You have to have a strong sense of identity and never waiver from it.

 

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Retired, in a tapas bar in Spain!

 

March 2018


5 Minutes With… Sue Graham, Senior Partner at EAD Solicitors

Sue Graham is a Senior Partner at EAD Solicitors, incorporating John A Behn Twyford & Co. She is a pioneer and champion of women in the legal profession.

Sue trained under the late Betty Behn, who was amongst the first female Solicitors to practice in Liverpool. Both women are mentioned in 'A Century of Liverpool Lawyers'.


 


What is your job?

I am a Solicitor. I deal with Personal Injury claims. My main instructions are from Trade Unions.


Why did you choose to go into law?

I initially wanted to have a career as a Social Worker. At the time my Sister was working as a Legal Secretary for Solicitors in Liverpool. I was asked to cover a Trial at the Crown Court. It was a very serious armed robbery case. I remember sitting behind Counsel and I was intrigued by the legal arguments. This is what caused me to change my career decision.


Who inspires you?

I was inspired by the late Betty Behn who was my Principal. She qualified in the 1930's when she was one of the few female Solicitors. I have also been greatly inspired by many clients over the years who have had serious injuries but have continued to live life to the full despite their disabilities. The team that I work with inspire me. I have worked with them over may years and we are able to help each other for the benefit of clients.


What is the best part of your day?

The best part of my day is either a successful case won at Trial or obtaining a really good settlement for clients.


What is the best advice you were ever given?

Just 'do your best. You can do no more'.

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

The profession has changed immensely over the years that I have been a Solicitor. When I first came into the profession there was not even an exchange of witness evidence. It was really 'trial by ambush'.


What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job that you know now?

That even if you think something has gone wrong there is usually a way to put it right.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers to develop?

Communication with clients, colleagues and your opponents.


How do you deal with the stress of your job?

You have to tell yourself that the stress of the moment will soon be gone. To seek advice from your colleagues and obtain their opinion is a great help. A glass of Pinot Grigio does finish the day off nicely.

 

February 2018


5 Minutes With… Katy Link, Chartered Legal Executive at Fletchers Solicitors

Katy is a Chartered Legal Executive, qualifying in 2004. She is currently employed with Fletchers Solicitors dealing with litigated cases within their medical negligence department.

 

 

Why did you choose to go into law?

I didn't! It found me in a way. I remember weighing up whether I wanted to be either a medical or a legal secretary and had a chance meeting with a Solicitor, gained some work experience and that was it! I was persuaded to train as a Legal Executive and I am so grateful for that advice.

 

Who inspires you?

Too many people to mention. You all know who you are though.

 

What is the best part of your day?

I like to be organised. I will have a plan of what needs doing and I get immense joy seeing tasks crossed off my lists! 

 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Train to be a Legal Executive. It has opened up so many opportunities for me and allowed me to work and gain experience at the same time as training.

 

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

I was fortunate not have to be a trainee. I was a file handler whilst I was training. I do remember Legal Aid for PI cases and "Plaintiff" however which may give my age away. When I first started though, sadly the majority of females were in administrative roles, something I am pleased to see has changed. 

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job that you know now?

It's not a race. It takes time to gain experience. Being thrown in the deep end, is not always a bad thing!

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers to develop? 

You need to listen and be patient. Particularly in my field of work, you are not just giving legal advice, you sometimes need to provide a listening ear. Try to put yourself in your client's shoes from time to time.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

It's taken me years and I am not sure that I have fully mastered this, but you have to be super organised and kind to yourself - acknowledge that we are not invincible. There are times when I still email myself in the middle of the night to remind me to do something, but thankfully it isn't very often.

 

January 2018

 

Five Minutes with… Tracey Quirk, Partner and Head of Residential
Conveyancing at MSB Solicitors

 

 

Tracey is one the nominees for the Legal Professional category of the Women In Business Awards. Successful from early on, Tracey became an associate after only two years of qualifying. She became a partner in 2008 and since heading up the residential department of MSB Solicitors has worked with multiple housing developers across the city, helping thousands of people across Merseyside into their new homes. As well being WLD alumni, Tracey was also the vice chair of the Association of Women Solicitors.

How would you describe your role?


A bit of a mixed bag. I am Head of Residential Conveyancing and Deputy Money Laundering Officer soon to be come the Head Money Laundering officer. I am responsible for the procedures and supervisor of staff in the conveyancing department to ensure they are followed correctly. I sign off files, deal with money laundering issues and other enquiries, difficulties on files and run a case load of my own.


Why did you choose to go into law?

My 3B's in Sciences at A level and D in general studies left me in limbo and having to apply for a degree course through clearing. I fell into it!

Who inspires you?

All my other business partners. As I'm more junior to them I aspire to be like them.

What is the best part of your day?

Home time! I love going home to my family.


What is the best advice you were ever given?

Treat others how you would like to be treated and put yourself in their shoes.


How do you deal with challenges in work?

I put myself in the place of my client and think if I was the client what would I want. I then try to deal with it on that basis making it as easy as possible to explain. I empathise with my clients.

How do you deal with the stress of your job?

I like to go running to clear my head after a hard day. I work well under stress.

How has the profession changed since you were a trainee?

Its become harder. There is more red tape and regulation to which we must comply with. Clients demands have also changed.


How do you keep a work/life balance?

I plan holidays and weekends well to enjoy quality family time.

 

What do you wish you knew on the first day of the job that you know now?

How hard it would be.


What is the most important skill for young lawyers/professionals to develop?

Client care and dealing with difficult clients.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Hopefully with 40 million in the bank after my lottery win sitting on beach, but more than likely ill still be at my same desk sitting in my same chair hopefully aspiring young lawyers that there is no celling point for hard work and determination.


January 2018

 


Five Minutes With…Our wonderful Chair Kathryn King

 



Kathryn is a Solicitor-Advocate working within the Clinical Negligence Department at EAD Solicitors.

Why did you choose to go into law?

I wanted to be a lawyer from a very early age. I loved puzzles and riddles as a child and when asked what I would like to do when I grew up would answer "problem solving and mystery seeking". Turns out all the spots in the Scooby Gang were taken so lawyer was as close to this job description as I could get!


Who inspires you?

My mum. It might sound clichéd but she is the most positive and kind person I have ever met. I always try to be as kind as she is; it gives me something to aspire to!

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Just ask. This seemed a strange concept when I was fresh out of University but it is the most valuable thing I have ever learned. If you don't know how to do something, have too much on or can't meet a deadline, speak up and ask for help! It doesn't make you look incompetent it makes you look confident.



What is the most important skill for young lawyers to develop?

There are many skills required of young lawyers nowadays and a lot of demands on them but I would say the most important is business acumen. They don't teach you this at law school and it seems absurd that you have to be good at business as well as law to be a lawyer but given the constant shifts in the legal sector it is the only way to survive and the most valuable tool for all young lawyers looking to progress.


January 2018
  



Five Minutes with Nadine from Professional Training

Nadine owns her own boutique training business, Professional Training UK Limited having originally been a corporate lawyer working at both national and international firms. Her role now is to help people reach their potential and expand their tool kit in their interactions with others. She has a small select team of lawyer/trainers. All of her in house training is bespoke- www.professional-training.co.uk.

What is the best advice you were ever given?


The best advice I was ever given was "be yourself" and when the "little old me syndrome strikes" think about deleting the "little" and the "old."

 

What is the best part of your day?

I work with a lot of entrepreneurs as part of the executive coaching aspect to my business and the take home for me is that they always approach a problem with a presumptive attitude- we haven't found a solution yet- the yet presupposing a solution is available. It's incredibly powerful.

 

What is the most important skill for young lawyers to develop?


The most important skill for any lawyer to develop is the ability to read people. Lawyers sometimes spend far too much time talking rather than looking out for the subtext or hidden agenda. The ability to calibrate (read people)transforms and average lawyer to a top performer.

 

How do you deal with the stress of your job?


I deal with stress on various roles as coach/trainer/director/owner by working out what is core/non-core and taking each task at a time. Failing that a good walk and fresh air with no phone to clear the head always helps.


2017


A Day in the Life of a Trainee Solicitor, Elke Kendall


I am currently working in the litigation department as the second seat of my training contract at Brabners, where I deal with a range of commercial disputes including defamation, shareholder disputes and professional negligence. I also support the property litigation team, so my day can be quite varied which is something I particularly enjoy.


The working day starts at 9:00am, which usually allows me time to grab a coffee on my way in, and my first task is to check through e-mails that have come in overnight. I take a lot of notes to help me organise my workload and will add anything that needs to be done to the list I have written the night before.


While every day is different, this morning I needed to draft several "notice and take down" orders to online publishers that have posted a defamatory article about one of my clients. A partner in the team went through my first draft with me yesterday afternoon, so I spend time making the finishing touches to the letters this morning and once signed off I send them out by e-mail and post. I have given the various publishers five days to respond, so I make a note of this deadline in my calendar so I can follow up.


As part of my role, I'm also given the opportunity build client relationships and have direct contact with clients. Mid-morning, I receive a call from a client who is confirming the details of a complaint he made about a holiday provider. Following our conversation, I'm then able to finish off a letter I have drafted to be sent to them.


I have a good relationship with clients, particularly those I have been working with closely over the last few weeks. When you take the time to talk to and get to know your clients, you get more information from them and this ultimately helps you to understand exactly what resolution will suit them best. While litigation can be about going to court, it is often better (and more cost effective) to reach a resolution before proceedings need to be issued.


At lunchtime, I pop to a 30-minute class at the gym across the road from work with one of the girls from the housing and regeneration department, which was where I spent my first seat. I'm not sure how long this motivation will last, but it does help me to concentrate better in the afternoon!


When I get back into the office my supervising partner invites me to join a meeting with a new client about a shareholder dispute. I enjoy attending meetings with partners, as you can learn a lot from the way they manage expectations and explain complex areas of law to people unfamiliar with it.


My afternoon is spent researching a right of way issue for the property litigation team - I told you my day was varied - and putting together a note for the associate so they can discuss this with their client.


For my final task of the day, I call a clerk at a local Barristers Chambers to discuss whether they have counsel available to draft a defence for one of our clients in a professional negligence matter. We often use the same chambers so it's great to build up a relationship with the clerks. At the beginning of my seat I was always nervous about calling them, but they are always very willing to help.


In preparation for tomorrow, I write my list of "to-dos" before leaving a little after 6pm.

 


2017