A day in the life of a family law solicitor.
Meet Lara Davies. She’s a member of Resolution, the family law organisation dedicated to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law. Lara worked hard to become a Resolution Accredited Specialist.
As a Senior Solicitor and Director at OLS, Lara’s day starts early. Her alarm goes off at 6am, and after taking her Cockapoo, Bryn, out for a 2-3 mile walk, she returns home to have her first coffee of the day. Lara needs at least two cups before she can function properly!
Coffee and emails
When Lara arrives at work, she greets her colleagues before heading to her office to check her emails and diary. Today is Wednesday, which means it’s Lara’s “surgery” day. She dedicates half a day a week to deal with pro bono appointments – free advice calls. Lara has six appointments in her diary for this morning, ranging from a father who hasn’t seen his children for six months, to an elderly lady looking to start the divorce process against her husband of 30 years, to a young lady who is a victim of domestic violence from her cohabiting partner and a mother who has had a visit from social services. After each appointment, Lara makes an attendance note of the advice she has given and tries to stay on top of emails.
Video conference with barrister
Later in the day, Lara catches up with a client and counsel for a video conference ahead of an FDR listed for 3pm. Since Covid, OLS’s working patterns have changed, and the technology they have allows them to be completely agile. They work from anywhere and are as present as if they were there in person. They talk the client through what will happen that day, the Position Statement they have received from the opponent, and what outcome the client can expect. Lara will not be attending the hearing, but both counsel and her client will keep her informed of how it goes.
After the conference, Lara makes another coffee, catches up with her secretary Donna, and has something quick to eat at her desk. She dictates a short tape for her secretary to work on this afternoon, which takes a little pressure off and allows her to spend time drafting in the afternoon. A client emailed overnight with additional information that he wants included in his S.25 statement, so Lara makes a start on this.
Mentoring our trainees
Later in the afternoon, Lara’s Trainee Solicitor emails with a query on a case, and they have a short Teams call to talk about options available to the client and a suitable response. Lara remembers being a Trainee and always being afraid to ask questions. OLS has an open-door policy and makes full use of each other’s specialist knowledge.
In the evening, Lara has a Teams call scheduled with a client in South Africa. Being a remote firm, they have clients all over the world with varied financial portfolios. Lara talks through the matrimonial assets and potential settlement options before agreeing on one further settlement offer that she will draft tomorrow.
No two days are ever the same, and that’s what Lara loves most about her job. She’s often double up as a counselor for most of her clients, in what is often the most stressful and upsetting time in their lives. Lara is dedicated to fighting for her clients’ best interests while bringing a sympathetic and personable approach to her practice of family law.
At OLS, we understand that family law solicitors are often portrayed negatively in the media, but in reality, we have a duty to try and settle cases. We are dedicated to providing a professional but friendly service with continued support and advice on our clients’ legal journey.