What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I have two jobs, one as a barrister practising from Harcourt Chambers, and the other as a lecturer at University College London. They mostly fit well together, although some weeks are pretty manic! Every day is different - sometimes I'm teaching, marking or doing research for an academic paper; other days I'm in court or preparing an advice for a client. I love how varied it is and how the two sides feed into one another.
How long have you been in these roles and what brought you here?
In these particular roles, about 2 years, but before that I was doing a doctorate and then a post-doc in Oxford researching relocation disputes and other aspects of international child law. I've always had an interest in family law after spending a couple of days marshalling the father of a friend of mine, who was then a district judge, while I was at school. He still sits (now as a Circuit Judge), but it's not a part of the country I get to much for work so I've never been in front of him.
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
My colleagues at both UCL and Harcout Chambers are just great, as are the solicitors I work with on a regular basis.
One of the funniest stories was when I was doing a complicated case which had gone totally off the rails (not my fault, I hasten to add!), and I was sat back in Chambers wondering what to do when the senior partner from my instructing solicitors sent an email that just read 'come here'. I was halfway to her offices before I realised that it was meant for her trainee who had been with me at court, and that she wasn't summoning me. She enjoyed the power trip though, and I get reminded of it by everyone at the firm every so often...
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The best is when I feel like I've really made a difference in someone's life, whether it's one of my students or one of my clients.
The worst is those really early mornings when a case has come in last minute and you thought you had a clear day to catch up on other things - the snooze button usually gets a few hits those days.