Career growth within Family Law Group - Kerry
Many members of the Family Law Group team have joined us at the start of their careers and worked their way up to senior positions.
We spoke to some of our colleagues who have grown through the firm about how they did it and why family law is the career for them.
Kerry Avis joined Family Law Group in September 2014 and qualified as a Solicitor in September 2018. She works out of our Nottingham and Peterborough offices and specialises in public and private law children cases.
Kerry, why did you choose to build a career in family law?
I have always had a passion for Family Law. Unlike many other areas of law, I have always felt that family law gives us an opportunity to support people during the most difficult times and times of emotional turmoil.
What was your first role at FLG?
I initially started at FLG on a voluntary basis. I had completed my law degree and wanted to get my foot in the door of a law firm specializing in family law. I started by helping with filing and summarizing police disclosure. I very quickly went on to work part time in what is now called Family Law Direct, but at the time was called CLA.
How did you progress through the firm?
After starting on the CLA part time, I basically put myself forward for every opportunity. So when someone was needed to support the admin side of the CLA as well as paralegal work, I would put myself forward. This quickly generated a full-time position on the CLA. I then applied to work for Amanda Brown, one of the directors, as her support paralegal. This progressed to supporting Amanda and two other assistant solicitors. I then transitioned into the Public Law Children team and supporting Simon Leach. I did this for 6 months before starting my training contract under his supervision. When I was newly qualified, I was then offered the opportunity to set up an office in Peterborough. Having jumped at this opportunity, I have been Head of Office since then and progressed to Associate solicitor and becoming accredited as a Children Law Specialist via the Law Society.
What have been your career highlights?
The two career highlights for me were becoming Head of Office because this is an amazing opportunity that I doubt I would get at any other firm. It has given me the opportunity not only to grow as a lawyer, but also as a manager, learning a whole new skill set. The other career highlight would be becoming Accredited. This is important to me, not only because of the hard work that goes into the accreditation process, but also it means that I am now able to represent Guardian’s and children. It has allowed me to adapt my thinking, which in turn has benefited me when representing parents to think about the case from every perspective when giving advice.
What would you say sets FLG apart from other law firms?
We specialize in family law and we are accessible. Only recently after leaving a hearing in person I could hear people who were upset with their solicitors for not being accessible. With Family Law Group we have the support network to our fee earners to ensure that client’s have numerous points of access. Whether that is the office number and speaking to a paralegal, email address for the fee earner and paralegal, and also the mobile number of their fee earner.
Additionally, the lawyers that work for this firm specialize and only work in family law. This means we put all our time and energy in ensuring we can offer the specialist knowledge that client’s need to feel reassured that their case is in safe hands.
From an employee perspective, I feel that we are set apart because of the opportunities we offer to our staff. From my own experience, being offered to set up an office as a newly qualified solicitor is something I doubt I would achieve anywhere else. FLG really nurture their own and offer fantastic opportunities to help with career and growth.
What are the 3 main personality traits you need to succeed at FLG?
Good communication skills
You can read more about Kerry here https://www.familylawgroup.co.uk/site/people/profile/kerry.avis
And if you would like to know more about opportunities at Family Law Group see our careers pages https://www.familylawgroup.co.uk/site/about/career-opportunities/