Sarah studied Law and Professional Practice (LLB and LPC) at Nottingham Trent University then went on to do her training contract at Hudgells before qualifying at the firm
What's a typical day like?
I work on five or six cases and this usually involves:
- corresponding with clients by way of letters, email and telephone calls to provide regular updates on their cases;
- taking witness statements;
- reviewing medical records, approaching and instructing appropriate independent medical experts to compile medical reports detailing breach of duty, causation and condition and prognosis;
- drafting Letters of Claim to send to defendants, reviewing defendants letters of responses and assessing the most tactical next step in the case;
- instructing counsel to advise on merits, quantifying cases by assessing case facts/medical evidence against the judicial college guidelines and past case law;
- drafting schedule of losses, negotiating settlement with the defendant, and issuing cases at court if settlement cannot be reached.
Every day feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. The best way to manage your time effectively is to plan the cases you need to work on that day and try to stick to it; time management is vital. You have to be 100% focused as you can be caught off guard at any time by client or third party phone calls asking to discuss cases.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Developing a good client relationship right from the start of their claims and building this up throughout and obtaining the best possible outcome. Thereafter, being thanked and appreciated for all your hard work.
What are the challenges?
Being able to manage your time efficiently and being able to manage a client's expectations, especially when you are acting on behalf of a deceased's estate. You cannot put a value on somebody passing but the law only modestly compensates for this, especially if there are no bereavement or dependency awards.
In what way is your degree relevant?
The degree provided me with a lot of background about the different areas of law and how we have come to have the legislation and case law that applies today. The LPC allowed me to put that theory into practice. Skills and experience gained while doing the LPC can then be taken into employment/training contract after graduating.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?
The more experience you gain, the more confident you become when it comes to making decisions about the most tactical way of achieving the best outcome in cases, advising clients and negotiating settlement with defendants.
I am dealing with claims valued at up to £25,000 at present, as my experience and confidence continues to grow, I would like to handle higher profile and high value cases.
What advice can you give to others?
It's not an easy journey becoming a solicitor; you have to be 100% determined. It's a long process and requires a lot of hard work and dedication but it all pays off and feels worthwhile upon qualifying.