Jonathan Corbishley Solicitor Profile
- AuthorJonathan Corbishley
We sat down with Jonathan Corbishley from our Chesterfield office to ask about his days, career and what advice he can inpart for individuals looking to start in law.
Q1. Why did you become a Solicitor?
I had always been interested in family law and a law qualification can open up a number of different opportunities.
When a client first approaches a family lawyer they can be in an emotionally distressed state given that the issues we deal with are so important to them on a personal level. By giving clear, straightforward and pragmatic advice we are able to provide them with clarity over their options and a clear way forward from the outset.
This can lift the weight off our clients' shoulders and allow them to start moving forward. Throughout their case they will start to get certainty over their future and, by the end, the strength to leave behind the difficulties they had at the beginning.
Q2. What area of law do you specialise in and why did you chose it as a speciality?
My interest has always been family law, by developing my knowledge across all of its areas, and now most recently into mediation. I wanted to have the opportunity of meeting with both sides of a relationship breakdown so that I can work positively with them in a setting away from the Court arena where they can be more comfortable and less pressured.
The decisions that are made in family law cases impact the lives of all involved for many years after those decisions are taken. To empower parents and/or separating couples to take ownership of these decisions and move forward in a more positive way is a real privilege.
Q3. What are the four essential skills you believe a good solicitor should have?
A good family solicitor needs to have resilience, this job can be tough at times and being able to work towards the best outcome for your case will not always be easy. Alongside this, your work ethic must be high, the hours can be long and the subject matter complicated, working to the highest legal standards is essential in any action you take.
Your empathy and attitude are also a cornerstone of a good solicitor. People who you work with are going through turbulent events, and being able to understand both a parent’s needs and their frustrations alongside understanding their goals, and how you can achieve the best possible outcome requires all these skills.
Finally there is communication, people you may encounter could be angry, upset or volatile, good communication is key. Listening to both their needs and wants, whilst understanding what they are personally going through, means accurate, clear and detailed communication is paramount.
Q4. What does an average day look like for a family lawyer?
There is no average day. The role is very varied and there is the opportunity to get involved in all steps around litigation including case preparation, advocacy and meeting with clients. A day may start with a clear plan but one telephone call can change that and result in an urgent application to Court. As a family lawyer you need to start each day with an open mind and willingness to be flexible.
Q5. What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in your professional career?
I would say my biggest challenge has been my work/life balance. The amount of time we have to put into our cases and especially in family law means normal office hours rarely happen. The effort we put into difficult and often sensitive cases, mean when its time to “switch off” it can be a real struggle.
Q6. What do you like to do in your free time?
Living near the Peak District, I am lucky to have lots of scenic walks on my doorstep. My family and dog Bella have spent many hours roaming the area and family walks especially in lockdown have become the norm. I have also taken up running, with my local gym being closed due to lockdown; I have had to get creative about staying in shape.
Q7. What is your advice to anyone that wishes to start a career in law?
I would advise anyone considering a career in family law to throw yourself in head first. There will be hurdles and challenges of course, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. Your team will be able to help and support you and in turn you can do the same. It’s an interesting career where no two days are the same and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to make a difference to people’s lives for the better.
Jonathan can be contacted on 07815 612131 or firstname.lastname@example.org