Our new trainee solicitor, Yasmin Palmer, finds her unusual hobby helps her keep the clear head she needs to provide clients of our Family Law department with help and support at some of the most difficult times of their lives.
Weightlifting down the gym most mornings before work, she loves the challenge of trying to beat her personal bests, but says she gets her biggest kicks from knowing she’s helped someone take a step in the right direction during her working day.
Having joined us in May, Yasmin is working alongside our experienced and highly respected Senior Solicitor, Dominic Hudson, gaining the hands-on experience she needs as a paralegal having notched up a first class honours Law degree from the University of Hull.
And her role with us is a responsible one, as she needs to carry out all of the associated paperwork generated by each case, to make sure things run as smoothly as possible, when many of the people the team are working with are going through difficult personal times due to issues such as divorce and separation, and the associated negotiations over child custody arrangements and financial matters.
“I’m learning so much,” explained Yasmin, “by shadowing Dominic on everything he deals with. I like the fact I can make a difference, even at this early stage, because if I do my job well, it enables Dominic to focus on offering the high standard of service, advice and personal support to our clients which is so important.”
Just the beginning
Yasmin has now enrolled for the work-based solicitor’s training whilst studying at the University of Law, which will see her become fully qualified in about two years’ time.
“I feel really fortunate to have landed my first job in law with such a supportive firm who are doing everything possible to help me achieve my full potential,” she explained.
“Dominic is so experienced and patient when it comes to explaining things I need to know.”
“I’m attending all of his initial client consultations with him and we are then seeing them through together, with me concentrating mainly on the admin side of things. I am also able to communicate directly with our clients, by keeping them up-to-date with the progress of their case and doing my best to help with any queries they call in with, which I really love.”
Yasmin grew up in East Hull and took a couple of years out between school and university, to save up and gain a little more life experience before pursuing her dream career in law.
“I’m 24 now because I had a few years doing different jobs to get some money behind me before I started my degree. I’ve worked in a clothes shop and an office previously, and these experiences set me up for what I’m doing now really, in terms of teaching me the importance of organisation and how to interact with all sorts of different people.
“I think having experience of the real world, combined with the learning I did at university, helps me bring a broader, more open-minded perspective to the conversations I have with clients, and hopefully make better judgement calls about situations too,” explained Yasmin.
And, now, what does Yasmin love most about her role at James Legal?
“I like building a rapport with clients and I get a real kick out of going home at the end of the day, knowing I’ve made a difference to them. Often, when people approach us for help, they’re in quite a challenging situation, and so being there for them is really fulfilling.”
“I’m also really excited to be starting my solicitor’s training, I am already looking forward to becoming fully qualified so that I can look after my own cases and assist people in achieving the best possible outcomes.”
Taking nothing for granted
“I had a bit of a ‘pinch me’ moment when I found out I’d got this job a couple of days before the end of my university course, because some people wait years to secure a hands-on job in the field. I’m fully aware of how fortunate I am in that respect,” adds Yasmin.
“Sitting with Dominic all day, every day, I know I can ask him any questions I need to, to gain a full understanding of each case and what actions we need to take on behalf of our clients.
“He and the rest of the team have made me feel really comfortable from day one and I know I have all the support I need in becoming qualified. I without a doubt will have more opportunity to gain hands-on experience at James Legal than I would at more traditional firms, where you often stay at the bottom of the ladder for a long time before you’re given the chance to stretch yourself and progress.
“Here, I don’t think there’s anything I’ve not been involved in since I joined the team and I am fully aware of everything that’s going on in our department.”
So, does Yasmin expect to continue specialising in family law once her training is complete?
“I didn’t have a preference, coming into this job. I was open to any area, but I’ve discovered I do really enjoy working in family law. “
“We can get to know people on a different level and can make a real difference to their lives when they’re having it tough, by showing empathy and compassion.”
“Sometimes, people come to us feeling vulnerable and even frightened of what the future holds, and we can have a major positive influence by giving them the confidence to do what they need to, to make their lives better,” adds Yasmin.
The perfect antidote
Yasmin’s passion outside of work – weightlifting – might surprise some readers.
However, she says the focus she needs to be at her competitive best is a fantastic foil to the stresses and strains of helping clients navigate a path through family break-ups and the like.
“I think going to the gym every day keeps me sane,” she laughs. I love nothing more than working hard and being in competition with myself. I think it’s the blend of the competitiveness and the opportunity it gives me for personal improvement.
“If I’ve had a stressful day where I’ve absorbed a lot of the personal upsets that our clients are experiencing, training really helps to transport my mind elsewhere.”
James Legal Managing Director, Simon Young, said of Yasmin’s appointment: “Recruiting the best talent and enabling promising people to reach their true potential through the right balance of support and challenge is what James Legal is all about.
“Yasmin is the latest example of that. She achieved an exceptional result in her law degree and is already proving an asset to our family team and the clients they serve, with a strong work ethic and desire to learn, so we’re really looking forward to watching her grow and progress.”