What advice would you give to a family lawyer looking to build a successful career?
If you’re a junior family solicitor, the first thing you need to ask yourself is which area would you like to specialise into. The sooner you have an answer to that, the sooner you know which area to focus on. For example, if you want to be a specialist private family solicitor with a focus on finances and divorces, the first thing you should do is sign up for Resolution in your area and attend as many networking events as possible.
Or, if you want to become a specialist childcare solicitor, your main priority will be to get on the children’s panel, so make sure that you look into that and know everything you need to do to have a successful portfolio in place.
Generally, get involved with JCI, with Women in the Law or anything that offers you a possibility to network and speak with other solicitors, because family law comes down mostly to the connections you build over your entire career.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for law firms right now?
I think the biggest challenge for law firms right now is staff retention. We are currently in a phase where the majority of solicitors tend to leave somewhere after four to seven years. So if you have a brilliant solicitor working in your team, it’s about making sure that you provide them with the flexibility, progression opportunities and the right salary bracket in order to keep them happy long-term.
How do you think Realm offers something different to legal recruitment?
Realm offers something different to other legal recruitment businesses because we are ultra specialist, you will not come across anyone else that knows their niche as well as we do.
I’ve been recruiting family solicitors for almost 6 years, and I live and breathe family law. The same goes for my family team and for everyone else that is a consultant at Realm. That links very closely to how human we are, in fact, that’s one of our values.
We know that what legal recruitment boils down to is making people happy in their new roles, and we can only do that if we put people first, not the placement or the money we can make from that.
What’s been your proudest moment at Realm so far?
My proudest moment at Realm started about a year and a half ago when I became the team lead for the family team, and we have gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months. We’ve hit our annual target and we’ve also had promotions within the team and this is probably the most rewarding part of my job. Seeing someone grow and develop as a consultant, is so nice and when you feel like you’re part of it and you have been able to contribute to their development, I think that is most rewarding.
What do you think makes family such a fantastic practice area to work in?
Family law without a doubt is one of the best areas of law to work in, particularly for people who are social, like to chat and are really people-centric. I’ve found family solicitors to be one of the warmest people in the world. They are always there for their clients and it shows!