Hear from Rowlinsons’ Head of Family Law Linda Hunter as she gives an insight into how her career started and what her typical day of a family law solicitor looks like.
Tell us about your background?
I had wanted to be a solicitor for a few years having done some work experience with a local firm of solicitors whilst I was at school. I then studied Law at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and absolutely loved it.
Following my law degree, I went to the College of Law at Christleton to complete my Legal Practice Course. I was lucky enough to find a training contract at a local North Wales firm after completing my LPC, and my legal career started there.
I had some amazing experiences dealing with all sorts of legal cases, from family law work, criminal cases, employment law, personal injury, and a whole range of things. It really was a fantastic experience and really helped me gain a broad legal knowledge. I had always found a real affinity with family law, and when I joined Rowlinsons in 2010 I chose to focus my area of law specifically on family law.
What does your role at Rowlinsons involve?
As a family law solicitor, I deal predominantly with couples who are separating – both married and unmarried couples. We help people deal with all aspects of their separation, from assisting families in the division of their finances to reaching resolutions about the arrangements for the children and advising on the practical implications. We also help couples who are just starting out. For example, advising on pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements. For any aspect of family life, we can help provide the legal advice needed to make the big decisions.
I am also an accredited family mediator, so part of my role now involves helping couples reach solutions together, in an amicable, non-confrontational way. It is incredibly rewarding being able to help separating families work together and achieve resolutions that work best for their family.
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most, and which do you find the most challenging?
Being able to help clients through what can often be one of the most stressful and emotional times of their lives is incredibly rewarding. Knowing that we can make a positive difference is why we do what we do. However, it can be a challenging job as well. There are a lot of difficult emotions to deal with and often complex issues that have serious implications for our clients. It is not an easy job, but being there for our clients and helping them in whatever way we can makes it worthwhile.
What advice would you give to someone starting their legal career?
If this is a career you feel passionate about and you really want to be a solicitor, then go for it! Try and get as much experience and knowledge as you can to really understand what is involved. It can take a long time to become a solicitor: there is a lot of hard work and dedication involved, and you need to know it is the right thing for you. If you can’t get work experience at a law firm, try and visit your local Courts and see if you can sit in the public gallery. Reach out to solicitors and see if they will chat to you about their roles and what the job entails. Read, learn, and experience as much as you can.
Tell us one highlight of your career that has made you proud?
There have been too many highlights to just pick one! However, qualifying as an accredited mediator was definitely a real highlight of my career. The knowledge and experience I have as a mediator has really helped me in all aspects of my role and has enabled me to improve as a family law professional.