Family Team Spotlight: Klaudia Jagiela
In our latest team profile article, we learn more about trainee solicitor Klaudia Jagiela, who works in our Private Family Law team at our Bolton office.
What is your job title and experience?
Job Title: Trainee Solicitor.
- University of Liverpool Law Clinic (2020–2021), providing family law advice on a pro bono basis.
- Shadowing family law solicitors (2021).
- Paralegal at Russell & Russell.
What areas of law do you specialise in?
I work in the Private Family Law team specialising in Divorce/Dissolution/Separation, Finances, Children Act matters and Injunctions, including Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders.
Why did you decide to work in the legal industry?
I decided to work in the legal industry as I can make a real difference and have a positive impact on people’s lives. The legal sector is a very rewarding and fulfilling industry; you deal with real people with real problems.
When and where did you qualify?
I graduated from the University of Liverpool with an upper second class (2:1) honours Law degree in July 2021.
I subsequently completed the LPC with a Master of Laws in Professional Legal Practice, passing with a distinction in August 2022.
I began working at Russell & Russell Solicitors in June 2022.
I commenced my training contract in October 2023 and am due to qualify in 2025.
How long have you been at Russell & Russell?
I joined Russell & Russell Solicitors in June 2022 as a paralegal working in the Private Family Law team.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Being able to provide practical advice to achieve the best possible result for clients is a very rewarding experience.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
When clients instruct family solicitors, they are going through one of the most stressful times of their lives. Therefore, it can sometimes be quite challenging dealing with clients’ emotions.
What are the most common sorts of cases you deal with?
Currently, the most common cases we deal with are applications for Child Arrangement Orders.
When families separate, and the parties have been unable to reach an agreement regarding the living arrangements for their children through negotiation and/or mediation, issuing an application to the court may be necessary.
We help every step of the way in making this Court application and provide legal representation during Court hearings.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to work at Russell & Russell as a qualified solicitor. I would like to become an expert in the legal field and be viewed as someone others can come to for assistance.
During my time as a paralegal and trainee, I have been surrounded by great mentors and solicitors and one day, I would like to hold a similar position. I see myself continuing to grow in my legal career and taking on additional responsibilities within the firm.
What are the main challenges facing family lawyers today?
Due to underfunding within the judicial system, a lot of time elapses before cases are listed for Court hearings and for solicitors to receive sealed Court orders.
Court hearings can have life-changing outcomes for our clients. However, due to the ongoing pressure on the judicial staff, Court hearings are often adjourned, and there is a significant backlog in open cases. This means cases are staying open for a long period of time.
As a family solicitor, you need to keep this in mind when managing clients’ expectations and providing realistic time frames.
What skills do you need to be a successful lawyer?
In order to be a successful family solicitor, you need exceptional communication skills to effectively communicate with your clients and the other side’s solicitors.
Solicitors must be articulate in their communication style and be good listeners to build good client-solicitor relations.
Secondly, you need to have the ability to quickly analyse large quantities of information and make a sound judgement based on the facts presented.
It is important to show confidence and resilience in challenging situations.
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a solicitor or work in the legal industry?
Gain as much work experience as possible. Look for opportunities to gain real experience, as this will enhance your understanding of the law and allow you to develop your practical skills.
Use any skills, such as teamwork and leadership, that you may have gained from any previous part-time jobs to your advantage.
In addition, before attending any job interview in the legal industry, make sure you research the firm fully to ensure you know everything about it and ensure it is the right match for you.