Family Matters

Your monthly family law digest from Woolley & Co, Solicitors


May 2017

Why become a family lawyer?

What connects these four statements: To Kill A Mockingbird; I wanted to help people; on a whim; and LA Law? They are all responses from Woolley & Co family lawyers to the question: What made you want to work in the legal profession?

In Brief

The perils of social media and playing detective in family disputes

As a family law solicitor, I often say that ‘nothing surprises me’. But with the advent of new technologies and the proliferation of social media I find myself amazed by some of the things I read about in...
... more

Starting divorce proceedings UK

Understanding the divorce process and what steps need to be taken is something people hope they will never have to think about but when they do it can cause anxiety and confusion. Where do I start? That’s often...
... more

What is shared parenting? Shared parenting in UK law

Shared parenting seems to be referred to regularly now in media reports about divorce and separation. In all cases that come before the Courts there will be a desire to do what’s best for the child or children...
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Recognising the important role of dads

So often many amazing dads out there are far too humble about their qualities and abilities. We want to give dads – or at least one dad in particular – his time in the spotlight and give people the chance...
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Marriage and divorce in later life

As a family lawyer the work that you do changes with the times. The biggest change I’ve noticed in recent years is that I have seen a significant increase in...
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Too often solicitors are vilified unfairly. Of course, I would say that wouldn’t I? I am one. However, it in a recent survey - Ten Most Hated Professions in the UK - lawyers were seventh in the list.

I think this a little harsh but I do take the point that the image of a hard-nosed lawyer is often the one which is pushed in the media. In my experience, the reality is very different.

Many lawyers get into the profession because they want to help people or have been through something traumatic themselves so understand the difficulties and want to make a difference. Others have family links, some have a love of words and language, or are good at problem solving.

In order to get a little more insight into what motivates someone to work in family law specifically, I decided to ask colleagues at Woolley & Co why they got into the industry. The answers were diverse, as the sample above shows. However, a recurring theme was that they wanted to help people. This does not sit comfortably with the hard-nosed lawyers and “7th most hated profession” we hear about. Is it possible that lawyers are only human after all?

There were, of course, some more unusual responses. I won’t give other people’s names here – look out for our posts on Facebook to give you an insight into the individual characters in the team. But do you know which one, for instance, wanted to be a police officer but ended up a solicitor?

For my own part, I wanted to join the army but was discouraged by my parents who wanted me to apply for a ‘proper’ job. So I did. I applied for the job of “office girl” at a legal firm (this was the 1970s – quite rightly that wouldn’t be allowed now). I told the interviewer I liked drinking beer and playing rugby and I got the job! I found, to my surprise, that I was very good at it and then took the many years of training required. With hindsight, I have always hated “big” people bullying “small” people and felt this gave me a chance to be on the side of those who needed it.

What started out internally as a bit of fun might give those who don’t have the best opinion of solicitors pause for thought and maybe help the industry start to shed an unfair image. We are human, after all.

Andrew Woolley
Woolley & Co, family law specialists


Woolley & Co, Solicitors
Warwick Enterprise Park,
Warwick CV35 9EF
Call 0800 321 3832
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