Criminal Law Team Spotlight: Chloe Young
This month, we turn our attention to Russell & Russell’s Criminal Law department and find out more about solicitor Chloe Young.
Chloe has been at Russell & Russell for over six years, having joined the firm in 2017 as a legal secretary. She completed her training to become a Police Station Representative in 2020 and qualified as a solicitor in November 2022.
Her joint role as a solicitor and Police Station Representative sees Chloe regularly splitting her time between the office, custody suites and Court.
What is your job title and experience?
Criminal Law Solicitor.
What areas of law do you specialise in?
Why did you decide to work in the legal industry?
I have always had a keen interest in law, and as a child I grew up telling my grandad that I would become a lawyer! This love grew when I started undertaking work experience in law firms. I then studied law at A-Level. From then, I knew that a career in law was definitely for me.
When and where did you qualify?
I completed a three-year law degree at Bangor University in 2016, followed by a two-year Legal Practice Course and Masters at the University of Chester in 2020.
I qualified as a solicitor in November 2022.
How long have you been at Russell & Russell?
I have been at Russell & Russell for six and a half years. I originally joined for a maternity leave position and was lucky enough to be kept on by the firm following this temporary cover.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love that every day is completely different. From waking up in the morning, I don’t know what cases will land on my desk that day! Every day is different in crime, and I really enjoy the variety of splitting my time between the office, police station and courts. I most enjoy my time at court!
What is the most memorable case you have worked on?
I would say attempted murder and murder cases are the most memorable. The one that specifically sticks in my mind is when we were shown photos of the body following a post-mortem.
What does your role as a Police Station Representative involve?
Being a police station representative means that I am part of a 24-hour rota – if someone is arrested, the firm will receive a call to notify us of their arrest. If I am the representative for that day/night, I will proceed to contact the custody suite to log my details, and then I wait for the officer to call me with an interview time. Once I receive the time of the interview, I head off to the custody suite where the client is located.
Once there, I will obtain disclosure from the officer regarding the offence, speak to the client to obtain their instructions and advise them accordingly. We then go into the interview.
Once the interview is concluded, I head back home or to the office, but stay in touch with the custody suite regarding the outcome. Detainees can be charged, bailed, released under investigation, or no further action can be taken.
It is important we receive an update because if the detainee is charged, we will attend court either the same day or the following day to represent them during court proceedings.
What are the most common cases you have to deal with?
I would say assault, sexual offences, drugs, theft, and motoring offences.
What are the main challenges facing criminal lawyers today?
I think the lack of lawyers that want to practise in criminal law – this, in turn, means that extra pressure is put on those currently in the job. Days are long and busy!
What skills do you need to be a successful criminal lawyer?
I would say good communication and listening skills as well as good knowledge of the law. Your clients come from all walks of life and rely on you to achieve the best result in their case.
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a solicitor or work in the legal industry?
Most definitely go for it! Get as much experience as possible to put on your CV, whether that is work experience in a law firm or going to court to sit in the public gallery.
Although the job is hard work and it takes a long time to qualify as a solicitor, it is extremely rewarding to be able to help someone during their time of need and, in the long run, you will reap the rewards.