I am a Solicitor with 4.5 years’ experience post qualification.
I represent vulnerable immigration clients such as victims of trafficking and those detained under immigration powers. The clients I represent are often detained for long periods of time when they cannot be removed from the United Kingdom and where they are unsuitable for detention. I assist them by conducting often complex challenges in the High Court.
I also supervise a team of 5 other staff. I spend long hours in the office and frequently carry on the work when I get home, at weekends and when on annual leave. The work can be stressful due to the urgency of the work, such as when an injunction is required to prevent an unlawful removal or to secure a person’s release from detention.
I have a student loan of £12,000 and a professional studies loan of £5000, both of which I am still paying off. I started my career as a paralegal with a salary of £14,000 in London. Despite reaching the grand old age of 30 I still live off my overdraft and have no savings.
I am worried about the cuts to legal aid as they will deny justice to scores of vulnerable individuals.