Aimee Booth Solicitor Profile
- AuthorAimee Booth
We sat down with Aimee Booth from our Derbyshire office to ask about her days, how she started her career, and what advice she can impart for individuals looking to start in law.
Q1. Why did you become a Solicitor?
I have wanted to be a solicitor all my life, there was not a moment after the age of 12, that I wanted to do anything else. My particular interest in family law also started at this time although the reason why continues to allude me as I was not inspired by any media or individual to my knowledge.
This drive to become a family solicitor, led me to complete my LLB at the University of Lincoln in 2013 then undertake my LPC part-time at Nottingham Law School from 2011-2016. During my second year at Nottingham, I started with Family Law Group as part of the CLA team and from there moved up to becoming a paralegal then receiving my training contract in October 2018, finally qualifying as a solicitor in October 2020.
Q2. What area of law do you specialise in and why did you choose it as a speciality?
My specialty lies in family law, this was reinforced when during my training and years getting experience in the industry, I worked in areas surrounding criminal and contract law.
This work reaffirmed my desire to work with families, to make a real difference in people’s lives. I find family law a very personal experience, when you are involved in cases that may not only take months or years but are taxing on both you and the client, you go on a journey with them and that is one of the most rewarding aspects.
The difficult and emotional times your client are going through, can usually be some of the worst in their lives. By helping them through this, and getting a positive outcome at a cases conclusion, can be one of the best feelings as your investment has led to a degree of genuine care and happiness when an outcome for a family or child is the best possible scenario.
When that happens, I know that specialising in family law and my decisions from a young age to pursue it as a career was the right thing to do, the area is always changing and updating and as you grow and develop with it, you can build not only a successful career but a fulfilling one.
Q3. What are the four essential skills you believe a good solicitor should have?
There is a multitude of skills that a good solicitor needs to employ, primarily you need empathy. When you meet a client, who is going through a legal process, you need to form your own understanding and progression of the case understand what outcome the individual wants, why they want it, and how the opposing may be feeling. This helps not only understand their point of view and agenda but can sometimes lead to amicable outcomes.
When undertaking cases or any type of work in a day-to-day capacity, organisation is another essential skill. Changes to your schedule, court orders, and emergency orders can all occur on a daily basis, by keeping track of and being organised in not only your workload but schedule and timings, you can be best prepared for any eventuality. Most solicitors use a schedule or planner to note their daily actions and make necessary amends if their schedule changes.
When interacting with a client, colleague, or judge in a legal setting, professionalism is another skill that a solicitor should have and employ every day. The title of solicitor is hard to attain, and the professionalism people expect from a solicitor is a level everyone with the title must deliver. People expect you to be at the forefront of not only legal knowledge but know their cases inside and out and be prepared and organised to help achieve the best possible outcome for them.
This balances with my final point, being a good listener from the moment you meet a client, you need to listen to their point of view, opinion, agenda, and desired outcomes. Failure to do this will mean you may miss key details or not come across professionally to your client. It is vital that their needs and wants are heard, acknowledged, and acted upon.
Q4. What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in your professional career?
The biggest challenge I feel I have overcome was getting a training contract with a legal firm. The competition for any area of law is always intense, and to get a training contract, you will often face challenges such as rejection and competition with others to get the opportunity you all want.
I committed myself to working hard and making sure my progression is shown as I learn't and developed to show why I was the right person to be given a contract, eventually through a friend who worked within Family Law Group, my hard work was realised, and I came into the firm to continue my progression up to the level I am now.
By working my way up through the firm acting first within a CLA capacity and then moving up into a paralegal then solicitor role, I have overcome that hurdle that once proved my biggest challenge and the continuation of work and training has helped me develop into the professional, I am today.
Q5. What does an average day look like for a family lawyer?
An average day for a family lawyer involves thinking on your feet. A day that has been planned extensively, can quite easily take unexpected turns when an urgent case matter or meeting must happen on that day. Prioritising this urgent work needs good organisation, I use a spreadsheet to manage my tasks, deadlines, and notes for delays or extensions to any of my work.
I find this is the best way to manage your days whether they are average or more hectic.
As a family lawyer is never a nine-to-five job, if you are not working into the evenings, then being able to switch off will help your work-life balance that then easily tip towards the latter.
Q6. What do you like to do in your free time?
Before lockdown, I spent time with my close extended family, going on holidays and having days out. In lockdown, I have been perfecting my baking skills in particular, chocolate and banana muffins!
As a family, we have been using sites like Zoom to arrange a fancy dress and quiz night, along with online escape rooms we do with our family and close friends. We most recently hosted a virtual bowling night where people set up pins in their living rooms and had a competition for the highest score.
When I want a break from digital interaction, I also like to complete jigsaws with my partner and children.
Q7. What is your advice to anyone that wishes to start a career in law?
I would always recommend getting as much experience as possible. When you are in that work, work hard and make all efforts to communicate and network with others, both in your position and senior. Going to networking events also was a great help to myself, and I made several connections that helped me later down the line and helped increase my presence in the tight-knit industry.
Apply for all roles, even if you may not think your experience is right, being afraid to apply for roles was something I overcame early, and it helped give me the confidence to carry on applying to show what I was worth to potential employers.
To contact Aimee, please click here.