We caught up with our newest Pupil Barrister, Claudia, to find out a little more about what inspired her to come to the family Bar. Find out more about Claudia by taking a read of the below:
- Can you share a bit about your journey into family law and what inspired you to pursue a career in this specific legal field?
I studied Law at University with aspirations of becoming a Barrister. I enjoy public speaking and debating and loved this aspect whilst studying my Law degree. I was inspired to pursue a career in family law due to my personal experience in this area of law at a young age. I have seen the huge impacts family law can have in all areas of life and thus chose to pursue a career in family law to have the privilege of advocating of behalf of people at what may be some of the most challenging periods of their life.
- As a recent pupil barrister at Unit Chambers, what aspects of family law have you found most rewarding or challenging during your first month?
The most rewarding aspects of family law have been, of course, when the client achieves the outcome they want. Sometimes clients have been in proceedings for years and may be very vulnerable, so it is very rewarding when the case is concluded and they are happy with the result.
Conversely, the most challenging aspects of family law have been when a client has had to be advised that the court are not likely to rule in their favour. Particularly in children matters, it can be challenging to manage the client’s expectations and encourage them to see what is truly best for the child.
- Could you highlight a memorable case or experience during your time thus far as a pupil barrister that has significantly influenced your approach to family law advocacy?
I attended a 4-day Final Hearing where the local authority were applying for placement orders. This was a memorable case as I was able to witness questioning of witnesses, agreement of threshold and a last minute C2 application. In particular, it was noteworthy that the cross examination of the Father was conducted through an interpreter. This demonstrated the importance of ensuring your advocacy is accessible and digestible.
- What unique skills or insights do you bring to family law, and how do you believe they contribute to the collaborative and supportive environment at Unit Chambers?
Prior to starting pupillage, I had gained experience completing pro bono work and working with vulnerable children. These experiences demonstrated the importance of empathy, particularly in family law, and the ability to be adaptive with the different parties and clients. I have found Unit Chambers to be very collaborative and supportive since I have started pupillage. Sharing experiences of different cases and approaches other Barristers have taken with clients has been very useful and reassuring.
- How has the mentorship and guidance of Claire Jones (Pupil Supervisor) and the rest of the team at Unit Chambers influenced your professional growth as a pupil barrister, particularly in the context of family law practice?
I could not have felt more supported during my first month at Unit Chambers. My Pupil Supervisor has ensured I have understood the cases and the law around them answering any questions I have. It has been really useful to provide my opinion on the cases to then compare this to my supervisor and the submissions she makes. I have been able to draft orders and compare these to my pupil supervisor’s which I have found extremely helpful to develop my learning. Furthermore, I have found the rest of the team at Unit Chambers very helpful in providing me with advice and support. I have been able to develop my advocacy skills and knowledge of the law through advocacy and education sessions which I have found very useful.
- In the dynamic field of family law, what emerging trends or changes do you find particularly noteworthy, and how do you see these impacting your practice in the future?
The Transparency Project is particularly noteworthy in family law. The Pilot is due to be extended following its positive response so far. The Project aims to “promote the transparency of Family Court proceedings in England and Wales through providing straightforward, accurate and accessible information for litigants and the wider public.” The involvement of the media and journalists in the Family Court will be a significant change but one that aims to make the system more accessible.
If you’d like to know more about Claudia and her experience, take a look at her profile here.