What adjectives best describe you?
I would like to think of myself as empathic, straight-talking, a problem-solver and creative. My family would say I’m a workaholic.
What keeps you motivated?
The desire to help people, to make sure people have access to the appropriate support, information and advice; and also to do the very best I can for each caller and member.
Tea or coffee?
Tea - Yorkshire Tea. I drink about 12 mugs a day. And red wine, but only in the evenings.
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
Take advantage of every learning opportunity that comes your way - even if you think it isn’t particularly relevant to you at the time. Be prepared to work very hard, and go the extra mile for your employer and your clients. Make the most of what the Institute of Paralegals has to offer it’s members. Always keep your knowledge up to date, so make the most of the publications, law blogs, journals etc that are on offer.
What song do you listen to the most?
She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult - it transports me back to my teenage years, and is always guaranteed to get me dancing and singing along (badly).
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
I love spending time with my family, it’s when I’m most comfortable, regardless of what we are doing. I’m an avid reader, and also enjoy photography: a passion inherited from my dad. My guilty pleasure is watching Emmerdale – I would love to be an extra in a Woolpack scene. I also enjoy walking and exploring the beautiful Hampshire countryside (we always manage to find an excellent pub along the route!) My husband and I spent many weekends collaboratively writing and recently published our reference book - The Family Law A-Z.
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
Reduce the separation periods to one year with consent, and 2 years with no consent required, and have the financial settlement and child arrangements agreed prior to issuing divorce proceedings, - similar to Scotland. Also, if I am allowed a second wish, cohabitation reform is desperately required, there does need to be some degree of legal protection for co-habitees that are financially disadvantaged by the end of the relationship, Scotland offers limited protection under The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, I would like to see similar provisions for those in England/Wales.
Ruth Langford is nominated for the Family Law Chartered Legal Executive or Paralegal Award. You can find out why she was nominated and place your vote here.
Ruth is the co-author of 'The Family Law A-Z'. You can follow her on Twitter at @Ruth_Langford
Join the conversation #familylawdayinlifeofAs part of this feature we are asking a wide range of people who have links to the court system and family law to respond to the above questions and give us some information about what their role entails. We hope to get a wide cross section of people - to this end, if you would like to contribute please email firstname.lastname@example.org.