Sally receiving her award for Family Law Chartered Legal Executive of the Year at The Family Law Awards 2018
What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a Chartered Legal Executive specialising in Family law and have recently moved to a small firm in Cardiff City Centre. In the mornings I get to work for 8.30, have a coffee and check the emails and diary for the day. I see clients regarding any family issues from divorce to private law children cases and everything in between. I deal with the case files from start to finish; attending court, instructing barristers and experts when needed.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I have been in this current role for a few weeks! Prior to that I have worked for a number of firms in and around Cardiff. I left school at 16 and started work as a trainee legal executive in a large firm, attending Pontypridd Tec on day release once a week to study for the CILEx exams. I qualified in 2000 but loved training in a big firm - every day was different, and I had some amazing experiences in every department; instructing on criminal, family and civil trials and dealing with fee paying and legal aid clients. I found the legal aid work challenging as my role involved representing victims of domestic violence, often applying for non-molestation injunctions and emergency order regarding children.
Any memorable stories from your career so far?
I have so many stories, mainly involving my own embarrassment from training. I once fell down the stone steps of the Cardiff Crown Court when my heel got caught in the hem of my coat, and I landed at the feet of one of the Jury in my case. In the Bristol Crown Court during a criminal trial - regarding a prison riot - the Judge enquired why the 7 Defendants were all chewing – I had given my client a packet of Polos (which was my prison visit sweet of choice) and he had passed the packet along the line of Defendants! In a family case my contact lens fell out and bounced across the desk towards the Judge, I continued the case with one eye shut. I could go on...
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The worst part of the day is waking up to the alarm - I am not a morning person! My best part of the day is sitting on the sofa in the evening watching TV with my daughter, when she knows it is bedtime and she is stalling so I get a hug.
What keeps you motivated?
Every day is different; when I think I have heard it all a client will tell me something new. I do feel I am helping people often in a really upsetting time of their lives.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, every few hours
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