I work as an Employment Lawyer with Osborne Clarke. My association with the Law Centre dates back around 20 years and taken a number of different forms – for the last few years as a volunteer in the advice surgeries which are run on a Tuesday evening and available to anyone who is experiencing a problem at work and needs advice.
It has always been and continues to be a real privilege to work with the Law Centre – we are extremely lucky to have somewhere like this in the city – where people who would not otherwise be able to take legal advice can access advice without charge. This is particularly important when dealing with an employment issue because if wages are withheld or you lose your job, few people are in a position to be able to pay for legal advice.
You meet people from all walks of life and advising has brought with it some interesting challenges and rewarding experiences – I am a much better lawyer as a result of doing this work. A common feature which often strikes me when advising clients when dealing with an issue at work – whatever that issue is and however it has come about – is that it can be a lonely and stressful experience for that client and for them to take proactive steps to resolve the issue can seem overwhelming. Whilst I would not pretend that we can take these feelings away, I do think that being available to listen to the client’s issue, discuss this with them, identify how the issue may be resolved and provide support to them during what is a difficult time can be of real value.