What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a care lawyer for Brighton and Hove City Council. I run care proceedings on behalf of the local authority: giving advice, polishing and honing documents, slogging through 400 emails a day, attending court and presenting cases, and dealing with obscure queries that take me down rabbit holes.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I cam into family law entirely by accident, but it turned out to be a good accident. As for Brighton, I came here on maternity cover; the child born as a consequence is now at school.
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
Well, obviously, they are lovely! Care law at a local authority is all about finding ways to deal with pressure and volume of workload, looking out for each other, having each other's backs, and listening to people's angst or funny stories. There's a lot of dark humour that goes on in local authority legal teams to help get through the day.
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
Picking up a case I know nothing about and getting on top of it and reducing it down to an essence in a case summary is the best part. The worst part...Listening to Pow Wow now hold music for 20 minutes while waiting for others to attend an advocates meeting.
That the work I do matters, that the decisions I help my clients make have weight and consequence, and that no day is ever the same.
Tea or coffee?
Yuck - neither!
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
That you'll never buy a yacht, but you'd have some funny stories to tell if you were ever invited on someone else's.
What song do you listen to the most?
I love music and buy new music all the time, so I don't have one song that I listen to over and over. The one I always come back to isGod Only Knows by the Beach Boys, and the one I'm listening to most at the moment is(Joe Gets Kicked out of School) Drugs with Friends (But Says This Isn't a Problem) by Carseat Headrest, which has the best hook of the year.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
Music, reading, writing, sport sport sport sport (my wife rolled her eyes when I started watching Pro Kabbadi, an Indian team sport which is a cross between fencing, tig, and sumo), and adoring my hound, Lewis.
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
There are honestly too many, but if I had to pick one it would be to nuke standardised documents from orbit and to never, ever attempt them again. Andrew will be speaking at the forthcoming Family Law Conference - 'Children Act Part III, local authority support to children needs, disadvantaged children'.
This year the Conference will feature breakout sessions to cover even more topics and a drinks reception for networking after the event.