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HCR Law Events

22 September 2021

A Day in the life of… Katie Hurst

The first stop is my inbox. The first 30 to 60 minutes of most days are spent ‘fighting fires’ before I can begin ticking things off my list of tasks. After this time, I am lucky if my day goes as planned. There is certainly never a dull day in Family Law!

On days where I have a hearing listed, I will try and have a conversation with the party on the other side. Where the opposing party has instructed a solicitor or a barrister, we can normally have a sensible conversation over what is and isn’t agreed.

However, where the opposition have chosen to act in-person (with the help of Google), this is where the fireworks start. The phrase ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ applies perfectly to this scenario. A litigant in person often wants a Judge to make Orders that are farfetched and entirely outside of their judicial power. I try to explain this to them but frequently without success. When a Judge informs them that they are unable to agree to what they are asking, this often sparks an emotional reaction. I have heard instances of an unrepresented party swearing at the Judge. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not recommended.

Family law matters are always sensitive and emotional, which is why it can be helpful to have a cool, calm professional who can act on your behalf and put your side of things across in the best possible way.

On most days, I will have a new client appointment, which we offer either face-to-face or via video call. This gives me the opportunity to listen to the client’s story and then ask questions. I can then give them general advice on how to progress their case. Nothing a client says about their personal circumstances or what happened during a relationship surprises me anymore, it’s just part and parcel of the job. I just note them down – I am not there to judge.

On a good day I will be able to take a 1-hour lunch break, however, even away from my laptop, I will be continually thinking about what is next on my list.

Whilst my title may be a Family Law Solicitor, providing around the clock support for clients is a large part of my job. Alongside helping with the legal aspect of their case, a lot of clients need help to realise they have the strength to get through this difficult time in their lives. The best part of my job is seeing the transformation of clients through the process. It is almost unrecognisable. I can honestly say that I love my job.

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About the Author
Katie Hurst, Solicitor

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Katie Hurst is a Worcester solicitor, specialising in family law.

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