A Day in the Life of a Family Law Paralegal - Lynda MacNicol

In my capacity as an accredited paralegal within the firm, I primarily support the family law Partner, Caroline Nisbet.

I began working at McSherry Halliday in 2015, shortly after completing my HNC in Administration & Information Technology. In 2017 I commenced my paralegal course specialising in family law via Central Law Training and Strathclyde University. After completing my course, I joined the Law Society of Scotland and gained accreditation upon completing a one-year traineeship – during which time I required to undergo quarterly reviews.

My role within the firm is very “hands on” and involves a great deal of communication with clients. I will discuss matters over the telephone or via email; occasionally I will meet with clients in the office for the purpose of signing documents, however, due to the pandemic, I see clients face to face on a limited basis.

I am responsible for preparing a range of documents such as Minutes of Agreement, Schedules of Assets & Liabilities, Initial Writs, Defences, and various Court documents, to name but a few. I draft day-to-day communications such as letters and emails and will converse on the telephone with other Paralegals, Solicitors, Sheriff Clerks, etc., in relation to on-going cases. A large part of my job involves documenting these conversations in order that an accurate record can be added to the client’s case file.

I would say that one of the most important aspects of my role is managing the clients’ expectations. I fully understand the frustrations that some clients can experience and I am always on hand to discuss matters with clients and ensure that they have a full understanding of their situation and the process.

At the start of the pandemic, the idea of working from home for a few weeks seemed like a novelty – albeit the home schooling wasn’t quite as appealing! We’ve now primarily been working remotely since March 2020. I think collectively, the firm worked well to quickly implement new procedures to ensure we could provide a high level of service to our clients without reducing the quality of our work.

At the moment, I am currently back working in the office on a Wednesday. I do enjoy having a day in the office because I miss the social aspect of office working, but working from home is my new normal and I feel I have managed to navigate an improved work/life balance!