Emilie Haine Solicitor Profile
- AuthorEmilie Haine
We sat down with Emilie Haine from our Cambridge offices 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 studied History at Warwick University and graduated in 2010. I knew I wanted to use the skills I had learnt in my degree, of analysis and forming arguments in a way that would help people with their problems. It took me a while to realise that being a lawyer was the perfect avenue for this. It was only after my degree when I began volunteering at a Law Centre in London, which offered free legal advice in the community, that I saw first hand how the legal system can help vulnerable people. I made my decision to pursue a legal career and from there I undertook my qualifications and training, joining Family Law Group in October 2020.
Q2. What area of law do you specialise in and why did you chose it as a speciality?
I practice exclusively in family law and my specialisms within that are children and domestic abuse cases.
My decision to become a family lawyer was actually made the first time I was in a courtroom. I was in court with my whole family for an adoption celebration hearing. The judge presiding over the case said how nice it was to have a courtroom full of happy people, and how unusual this is as a family judge. I was struck by how difficult and complex family court cases can be, and was inspired to help people get through them and achieve the best possible outcome.
Q3. What are the four essential skills you believe a good solicitor should have?
Strong communication skills are vital. You have to be able to listen to your client and understand their priorities, explain legal concepts to them, put forward their case effectively and negotiate with others. Being empathetic is also a must.
For many people this will be one of the most stressful and emotional experiences of their life and you have to be sensitive to their feelings and needs. Linked to this, I also think that a great lawyer has to be pragmatic. At times you have to be really honest and frank with your clients, even when it’s hard to take. Last but not least you have to be highly organised to manage your caseload and keep on top of court deadlines.
Q4. What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in your professional career?
My biggest challenge has to be after my training was completed. When I was looking for an avenue into family law, unusually I had not had the opportunity to spend any time during my training in this area, which made trying to find entry level positions very difficult.
I was told by a recruiter that moving into this area with no experience was near impossible and I took great pride in proving them wrong. I was given a chance for a newly qualified position in a specialist family law firm and have never looked back.
Q5. What does an average day look like for a family lawyer?
Average days for family lawyers can be few and far between, and that’s one of the best things about the job. The usual morning routine of responding to emails and drafting documents can easily be overtaken by an urgent matter, like an emergency court application, that requires all of your attention for the rest of the day. Unlike in other specialisms, family solicitors often represent their clients in court, which provides a great contrast to the office-based side of the job
Q6. What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend as much time as possible outdoors with my partner, toddler and border terrier. I grew up on an island and miss the sea hugely, so we love finding places to swim outdoors whenever we can.
When I have free time from my son I am a bit of an obsessive bookworm. I’m currently re-reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, ready for watching the new film version on Netflix.
Q7. What is your advice to anyone that wishes to start a career in law?
I would say get as much experience as you can early on. There are a vast number of specialisms within law and the day-to-day job of a corporate lawyer, for example, will be worlds away from that of a family lawyer. Different areas will suit different skill sets and motivations. By experiencing a range, you can help yourself discover your drive and passion and work out what suits you best.
To contact Emilie, please click here