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Elizabeth Smith, assistant fee earner at Minster Law, joined the team over 12 years ago and, starting out with no legal background, has worked her way towards her dream career in law. She shares her journey with us below. 

My journey at Minster Law first began way back in 2010 when I joined the firm in the contact centre with no previous legal background.

During this time, I learned how to capture claims and record details of how an accident occurred and client’s injuries. In these calls, I learned to assess whether a client was at fault or not for an accident.  Thereafter, depending on the severity of the client’s injuries I would send the claim to the ‘Fast Track’ team who dealt with less serious injuries or the ‘Multi Track’ team to assist our most seriously injured clients.

Around 6 months into the role, I was becoming very inquisitive and eager to understand what happens to these claims when they are passed ‘upstairs’. After speaking with my manager, who had previously worked as a Legal Assistant in the early stages of his career, and his insight into the variety and depth of how far these cases can go, I knew this was a role I wanted to work in.

However, with no previous legal experience I was unsure how to even get my foot in the door so decided to arrange a ‘taster day’ in the Multi Track team.  After a day, listening to the team explaining their roles and providing some details around their cases, I came away knowing this was something I could get my teeth into and even more determined to embark on a career in law.

So shortly after when a role as a legal assistant became available, although I had no legal background, I knew I had nothing to lose and applied. I was very open and honest in the interview and couldn’t stress enough that I would put in the hours, learn and endeavour to provide our clients with the best service I could provide.

Fast forward 12 years I have progressed from working as a legal assistant in Multi Track to working as a legal assistant in the catastrophic injury team, assisting lawyers who deal with our most complex and seriously injured clients.  Now, I’m handling my own caseload of values between £25,000 – £50,000 and assisting senior lawyers on cases values of £250,000 – £1,000,000 plus.

Not only that, but Minster has also funded my CILEX qualifications and currently, I am completing my legal portfolio which I aim to have completed this summer to be admitted for full Fellowship by Autumn 2022.

I am thoroughly grateful for all the opportunities Minster Law has given me and feel very rewarded for the career I have now.  I am looking forward to finally completing my studies this year and thereafter progressing further in my role dealing with even more complex and higher value caseloads or maybe even going into management one day.

One thing for sure, I haven’t stopped learning or progressing further in my journey at Minster Law and really when I think back to when I first walked into the Multi Track team I could not have imagined the journey I have gone through. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can go!