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Starting out in family law

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Solicitor Jessica Silvers from our Derby office outlined her decision to pursue a career in family law.


What first inspired you to consider Law as a career?

I have always had an interest in criminal justice. I first looked into joining the police force but decided I wanted to go to university and that is when I first looked into doing a Law degree. I wanted a job that I enjoyed but was challenging and would keep me busy at the same time, which drew me to pursue a career as a Solicitor. Once I had studied criminal law and attended work experience in that area, I soon realised it was not for me and started looking into other areas. I wanted a client facing role in which I was helping people directly, which is then why I chose family law.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I really like how no two days are the same. In care work, there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen during the work week, which keeps me busy and on my toes. I like conducting my own advocacy, which is challenging but can be rewarding all the same. Going to court, and being with clients in person, assists with your solicitor/client relationship and the sense of helping people in their time of need. Although you do not always get a good result, feeling I have done a good job for the client gives me job satisfaction.

How did you find your first 12 months in the field?

Extremely difficult and I would advise anybody going through this to look after yourself. You will reap the reward of putting in the work, but it is tough. Half of my first 12 months as a qualified solicitor was during the pandemic and we had unprecedented amounts of work. Looking back, I do not know how we did it, but it gave me experience working under pressure with a high workload, vast advocacy experience as I was attending virtual court multiple times daily, some days, as well as at other courts around the country and the opportunity to put cases to the court, that were unprecedented as they involved arguments brought about by the pandemic! Something I hope we do not have to do again!

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy going to CrossFit and Yoga classes. This gives me the chance to wind down at the end of my workday. I also enjoy walking in Derbyshire and reading a good book.