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Returning to law somehow

(17 Posts)
debs40 Sun 05-Oct-08 17:34:40

I was a solicitor practising in London for a major human rights practice until 2001. I'd been in practise for 6 or 7 years. I then gave up practise to do a LLM in Human Rights Law.

I am just in the process of completing a PhD in the same topic and I have also had two children - 5 and 2 - in the meantime.

I cannot see me returning to practice. I was a criminal lawyer and the hours just won't fit. Plus, I now live about an hour and a half away from London in very traditional provincial cathedral city which means there is not much need for my skills!

I have done a lot of voluntary (and some paid) work for NGOs in London and I've done a fair bit of freelancing whilst studying. I could apply for posts as a legal officer/researcher etc with human rights organisations but I can't really say I'm in a position to travel to London (where they are all based) and no one seems very happy about homeworking.

I'd ideally like to make a go of the freelance stuff but I know there's no money in criminal law any more.

Any ideas/suggestions??

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 00:02:43


lingle Mon 20-Oct-08 19:06:47

Would you consider retraining in employment law? The stakes are obviously lower but there are some similarities - it all matters and is quite personal, you're dealing with vulnerable people, and the actual case law is very technical and fast-moving. There is tribunal work which is interesting.
But you could do it in school hours.

More importantly, perhaps, there's jobs in it just now and there aren't in many legal field just now.

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 22:51:12

Thanks lingle. That's an interesting suggestion and not one I had considered. Are you an employment lawyer? Is it worth just approaching firms do you think on something like this?

beeny Mon 20-Oct-08 22:55:21

My situation may not be comparable but am working parttime as criminal barrister working out very well.

codtrolfreaky Mon 20-Oct-08 22:57:52

how do you manage that beeny?
do you mean ie 3 days a week or term time but not holidays?

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 22:59:36

I was going to ask that too. How do you ensure your cases are listed on your days in? Are the courts accomodating?

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 23:00:28

Trouble with practising criminal law as a solcitor is the duty schemes that everyone expects you to do.

beeny Mon 20-Oct-08 23:01:52

I have great clerks who have often got me one trial a week that normally cracks.My creche lets me swap days and have found parttime nanny who will come like a babysitter when creche dont have space.

codtrolfreaky Mon 20-Oct-08 23:03:34

that obviously... but also the interesting trials tend to be the longer ones.... if you want to do 3 week trials you cant do that part time.... or you can (ie 3 weeks on 3 weeks off or whatever) but for that you need full time childcare so whokle thing becomes financial madness.....

beeny Mon 20-Oct-08 23:08:21

Not really had a week long kidnapping agreed to do it and it cracked will do child abuse cases will book ds in creche in advance.Have had a number of 4 or 5 day cases that have all cracked have nanny as back up.

hatwoman Mon 20-Oct-08 23:10:48

debs40 - I freelance in your area if you'd like to "talk" cat me. also cat me if this job interests you. I can tell you a lot about it - including re home-working (new policy in place) and flexible working.

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 23:13:27

Yes, it does interest me. I have interned there. Sorry, what is cat?

hatwoman Mon 20-Oct-08 23:17:13

contact another talker. although I just noticed that it's actually called contact a mumsnetter so it should be cam me, I guess! interested to know when you were there and what dept...

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 23:23:23

Thanks! I can see you have to pay for that. You could drop me a line on and I'll get back to you?

debs40 Mon 20-Oct-08 23:25:51

I was working on the English speaking Caribbean team in 2002 by the way.

hellywobs Tue 28-Oct-08 19:43:54

Could you do teaching? What about the College of Law or BPP or something like that?

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