After leaving Wetherby to pursue a law degree, a local solicitor never expected her career to bring her back to the town where she grew up. But that is exactly what happened to family law specialist Kate Robinson.
Kate, 26, now works for Wetherby solicitors Hartlaw LLP, based on St. James Street, where she is a key part of the family law department. After spending her school years at Deighton Gates Primary and Wetherby High, Kate opted to study Law & Politics at Keele University. After graduating in 2005, she went on to complete a Legal Practice course at the College of Law in York.
Kate explains “I always knew I wanted to stay in the Leeds area to pursue my legal career. I had heard so many stories about young lawyers being awarded a training contract with a big firm in London and becoming lost in a world of photocopying for the next 2 years of their legal training, with many of them not even getting to handle their own cases or meet clients until after they qualified as a solicitor. I knew that wasn’t for me - I was keen to be more hands on and I wanted to be learning as much as I could from day one and be more involved with the clients.”
After completing her legal practice course, Kate’s first position was as a Conveyancing Paralegal with Hartlaw LLP and she has stayed with the firm ever since.
“Within a matter of days I knew that I had made the right decision to come here” continues Kate. “It’s a real team atmosphere, everyone enjoys their job and is committed to providing the best legal service we can for our clients.”
Kate continued as a Paralegal at Hartlaw for 12 months. Her persistent hard work and dedication to the company was recognised and after 12 months with the firm, the partners offered her a training contract as a solicitor – something she had worked so hard to achieve. Two years later in January 2010, Kate completed her training contract and was officially admitted to the role of solicitors – a key milestone in her legal career and a massive personal achievement for her.
Kate continues “I now work in the Family department at Hartlaw LLP where I undertake a range of family related work and advise on all matters including divorce and financial settlements, contact with children and residence, prenuptial agreements, cohabitation disputes and separation agreements, domestic violence and injunctions.”
Kate’s latest achievement came when she became a member of Resolution - a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family problems. “All of our Family lawyers at Hartlaw are members of Resolution and are committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way. We believe that family law disputes should be dealt with in a constructive way designed to preserve people’s dignity and to encourage agreements. “ added Kate.
Following recent changes to the Legal Aid system, many law firms are no longer continuing to provide ‘legal aid’ work. However Hartlaw fear that this will cause damage to many people’s ability to access justice and legal advice. There are no longer any law firms in Wetherby that are able to take on new legally aided cases.
She continues “Hartlaw LLP are committed to finding the right approach to deal with individual family problems at a competitive and fair price which is accessible to everyone. Whether a client is facing divorce, separation, domestic abuse or other family difficulties, the right advice and support is essential from skilled professionals who are experienced at resolving the kind of disputes that arise when couples separate. “
Hartlaw LLP offer a free initial consultation for all new family clients. The firm believes this is essential because it gives both the client and lawyer the opportunity to discuss individual circumstances and outline the various options available in each case. The firm also believe that the first meeting is essential because it helps to build a relationship with their clients during a period that is often difficult. The firm knows it is important for a client to find a family lawyer in whom she or he can work well and have total confidence in the service provided and in the knowledge that their best interests are of paramount consideration.