What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a legal assistant at Benest Corbett Renouf and work in the Family department. I deal with all aspects of family law, but have a particular interest in children law work. My main job is assisting the Head of Family Law, advocate Barbara Corbett. I review lots of emails (whether on the go or in the office), run cases, provide legal advice, draft documents, and assist at court. At present, I am helping prepare for our annual conferences in conjunction with the Association of Lawyers for Children.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I joined the predecessor firm, Hanson Renouf, in 2011 as a receptionist, and have been in my current role for approximately 3 years after completing my paralegal studies. I came into family law through Barbara Corbett. I had always wanted to pursue a career in law; however, I had not been fortunate in obtaining a position within a law firm when I left school. The long and short of it is, I worked for a flooring company and sold a floor to Barbara - the rest is history!
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
The people I work with and for are great. We are not a small firm, but also not too big either. I think we strike a good balance. The Family department consists of four people, and we are very much like a little family ourselves - it's lovely.
The most memorable story has to be what brought me to the role in the first place (see above)!
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The worst part of the day is often when an urgent matter which concerns extremely sad circumstances - often relating to children - is referred in. The best part of the day is finding swift resolution to a difficult matter with a positive outcome.
I decided to ask my colleagues for help with this question. Most of their answers aren't fit for print, but some of the nicer ones included passionate, driven, hard-working, empathetic, and caring.
What keeps you motivated?
Helping people, and the fact that I can really make a positive difference to the lives of others. I am always kept busy, and no day is ever the same. I am further motivated by my ongoing studies for my law degree.
Tea or coffee?
Both, but definitely coffee whilst in the office!
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
Think carefully; it's hard work. It takes its toll emotionally: you are dealing with people's lives. Equally, however, it can be very rewarding.
What song do you listen to the most?
There are quite a few, but I must admit that I have been listening to thePina Colada song by Rupert Holmes quite a lot following a hen party I recently organised, which involved cocktail making. The pina coladas went down very well!
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
Not studying! I very much enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy going to the gym, and I am hoping to qualify as a fitness instructor if I can find the time.
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
This is difficult: there are many. At the present time, I would have to say that we should all be encouraging the need for no-fault divorce - there is no need for 'the blame game'. Jamie-Lee is shortlisted for Chartered Legal Executive or Paralegal at the 2016 Family Law Awards. To find out more and place your vote, please visit theFamily Law Awards homepage.
To book your table for the Awards ceremonyclick here.
If you are interested in sponsoring an award please contactBecky Wall.