I am a newly qualified solicitor practicing employment and discrimination law. Most of my clients are disabled people who have suffered discrimination at the hands of employers, public bodies, and service providers. My objective is to get them apologies, compensation and/or access to services including transport, housing and welfare benefits. My salary is £24,500 pa.
On a typical day I arrive in the office around 8:30 to start checking through emails. I’ll spend the morning chasing clients, court staff, and solicitors for the opponent to get updates and to conduct negotiations. I will deal with post over lunch, which I eat at my desk while working. In the afternoon I will generally do more taxing work, such as preparing statements and submissions or conducting legal research. Throughout the day I’ll manage my paralegal and provide general supervision to the department as a whole.
Normally I’ll leave the office at 18:00, but at least once a week I work until 20:00. This means my working day varies between 9.5 and 11.5 hours with no lunch break.
Personally, I believe the Government’s cuts to legal aid is an assault on access to justice and therefore on democracy itself. Without lawyers doing the kind of work I do, disabled people would not be able to get effective redress for discrimination.