LLB Law, Class of 2004
Jennifer is a solicitor at Stowe Family Law LLP practising exclusively in family law.
What happened after I graduated
'Following completion of my LLB I took up full-time employment with an investigations company and after a promotion I started my first role as a fee earner in a buys personal injury department. I then decided to take the leap and complete the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York. I worked for a large commercial law firm in the litigation department and moved on to complete my training contract. I qualified as a solicitor in August 2012 and have practiced exclusively in family law since. I now work in a team of specialist family solicitors covering Greater Manchester and Cheshire at Stowe Family Law. I am also a member of Resolution - First for Family Law, promoting good code of practice.'
What my job involves
'My caseload includes divorce, financial and children proceedings.
'I have a number of cases where financial proceedings are underway. Financial proceedings involve the parties to a divorce asking the court to guide them in terms of a suitable financial settlement. The parties engage in financial disclosure and put their positions forward. Often the parties can be at polar opposite ends of the scale in relation to what they want. It is enjoyable when both parties begin to think about moving forwards and their key goals. It then becomes interesting to understand those goals and how best to achieve them.
'I also regularly advise parents in disputes over their children, whether this is in relation to which school they attend or where they should live. It is very rewarding to ensure that a parent is able to spend quality time with their children.
'As part of my role, I regularly advise in relation to the specific circumstances of a case. I enjoy applying my knowledge of the law to a client’s situation and achieving the best possible outcome for them.'
'I have some interesting cases approaching hearings over the next few months. I am also looking forward to travelling around France this summer. Biarritz, Bordeaux and Paris here I come!
'For now, I would like to continue practising as a solicitor and one day move to a management or partnership role.'
How Sheffield Hallam helped me
'I really enjoyed my time at Sheffield Hallam. The tutors and environment at Collegiate Crescent really enabled me to develop and come out of my shell. The open classroom environments were ideal for creating discussion and lively debate. The teaching forum was very inclusive.
'There were, of course, projects and coursework which had to be filed by certain deadlines and this has helped me enormously in my career.
'Plus the tutors were always on hand for tips about work experience and helped us think about where we would go and what we would do after university.'
A word to the wise
'All I would say is work experience, work experience, work experience! That's what employers are interested in. Don’t be afraid to put your feelers out with everyone you know to get an opening for work experience in the area you are interested in.
'It takes dedication to train and qualify as a solicitor, but if you put enough hard work and effort in you will do it!'