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Lawyers inspire new generation

Lawyers have been showcasing what it is like to work in local government as they help a student on their first steps to a legal career.

The legal team at Cheshire West and Chester Council took part in a national work experience week arranged by professional membership body Lawyers in Local Government.

Anne, Head of Legal and Deputy Monitoring Officer at the Council, said: “The idea of the week is to help give would-be lawyers some insight into the work we do and give them the opportunity to find out more about it from the people who are actually doing the job.

“There is lots of variety in local government. It spans from children’s safeguarding to employment law and procurement law to property litigation.

“Our work runs right through the Council – there are no areas where the legal team doesn’t have a role to play.”

Mina, Legal Manager (Children’s Safeguarding) at the Council, said: “Local government offers a very collegiate and supportive environment.

“If you work for a private firm of solicitors you compete with each other to bring in work but this isn’t a commercial environment – you’re working together for the good of the residents.

“In Children’s Safeguarding, for example, you’re protecting our most vulnerable residents, there couldn’t be a more noble thing to do and, although it’s challenging, that gives you great job satisfaction.

“It’s my dream job.”

During the work experience week the team welcomed 21-year-old Chloe, who has just completed a Law Degree at the University of Manchester.

She said: “As a recent law graduate, my desire to obtain work experience in local government roots from a desire to understand in detail what work is done by local authorities and to be able to network, learn and grow.”

The team planned a number of taster sessions for her throughout the week so that she could get a feel for their work.

The Council’s flexible working styles and technology also meant that Chloe was able to complete her placement with the team from home.

“It’s really quite innovative and it makes opportunities like this really accessible,” Mina said.

“That flexibility is another benefit of working in local government at Cheshire West and Chester Council, the ability to work at home or in the office.”

Anne and Mina also highlighted the career development opportunities within the legal team.

Anne said: “We really work hard to develop people and to create opportunities for them that play to their strengths, interests and passions.”

The national work experience week was organised by Lawyers in Local Government, the professional membership body representing, promoting and supporting the interests of local government legal or governance officers working within a local authority.

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