I am a solicitor working in housing law. I have been practising for over 10 years. I earn £26,000 per year.
My role includes taking new client calls (I often now, have to say we can’t help) seeing clients in this or one of our other offices in nearby town/city. Often they haven’t managed to get all the proofs needed by the Legal Aid Agency when I see them, so I can’t open a file until they do.
I can often help with rent & other possession claims. I also deal with housing disrepair counterclaims and unlawful evictions/landlord harassment. Homelessness queries are another area, as is anti social behaviour. At best I can stop the action (repossession/unlawful eviction/ASB injunction) and claim compensation (eg for disrepair) or get a homeless person accommodated.
I do not have any outstanding debt for studies, but I have a mortgage. It is a nag at the back of my mind, as I have given in my notice, because I feel so much under unrealistic pressures at work. I can manage without a job for several months if I cannot find anything quickly
The people most affected by the legal aid cuts- our clients – are so vulnerable and so much under attack that I feel fearful for them. The cuts are bound to cause a surge in homelessness.