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So, what does an assistant fee earner actually do?

Well, funnily enough, as the name suggests, they assist. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

First of all, a lot depends on the kinds of cases you work on. I first started working in the legal industry in March 2007, as a paralegal/legal assistant, I was assisting a fee earner working on motorcycle case worth up to £25,000. To the untrained eye it may seem like not a lot has changed since that fateful day. However, my days are now very different. When I first started the work involved a lot of phone calls, faxing documents to the court, standing at the photocopier copying receipts, and making sure the file notes were printed, added to the paper file then filed away properly in the filing cabinets.

Over the next 15 years I qualified as a solicitor, managed a team of trainees, and ran a caseload of my own cases with my own assistant. Then, a couple of years ago, I moved into the field of catastrophic and brain injury cases and moved back into an ‘assistant’ role. However, my days are now very different to those when I first started out in the legal sector.  Currently, as an assistant fee earner to an associate solicitor who specialises in brain injury cases, one day may involve working on the Schedule of Loss, another drafting a witness statement, the next on a home visit, or in a conference with Counsel (otherwise known as barristers – not to be confused with baristas!) and experts.  The number of cases I am involved with, on a day-to-day basis, has decreased dramatically but the monetary value of those cases, and their complexity, has increased enormously.

Over the past decade and a half, especially during and after the Covid pandemics, the way the legal sector works has changed enormously as well. Now, the fax machine has gone the way of the dodo, the case files are all electronic, meetings can be conducted by phone, in person or via video, and many people work from home for at least part of the week. Yes, a lot has changed in the time I have been working in the legal field but the client should always be at the heart of what we do.

Minster Law’s serious injury team is one of the largest in the UK, with specialists in head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, and injuries resulting in amputation and limb damage. Find out more about working in serious injury and what opportunities are available in the team.