Volunteers’ Week 2020 – ‘A real taste for what it’s like to work in law’
Published: 5 Jun 2020
This week is Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June, 2020) and we’re taking the chance to say a huge thank you to our volunteers. We caught up with Caitlin and Lucy who have recently started volunteering with our Legal Advice Service, which has seen a large spike in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, to find out how they are getting on.
I started volunteering for Working Families about a month after my A level exams were cancelled. Whilst legal advisors across the country were struggling to keep up with the coronavirus demand, I had been left with masses of free time and looking for something to do. Although it was a big commitment (3 days a week), I trusted that the charity’s Legal Advice Service (LAS) would value my help and give me enough work to make me feel useful.
In my first few weeks, the LAS team were in full emergency mode, dealing with all the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic. Despite this, I was welcomed with open arms by the amazingly friendly team and immediately encouraged to try responding to queries and reviewing the website. This work has continued and I’m beginning to find my feet in the (currently crazy) world of employment law and legal advice. I am so happy I chose to volunteer at Working Families and who knows…maybe I’ll come back as a lawyer some day?
I have been volunteering with Working Families for just over two weeks now. When I first joined, there was lots of new information to get to grips with—from knowing basic employment rights like the difference between being furloughed and being laid off, to tackling more complex queries. I was very fortunate to have such a supportive team to help me out. The Legal Advice Service team made me feel welcome straight away and regular team meetings mean you quickly get to know everyone. As a volunteer, you get stuck in and are given responsibilities from the get-go. No matter how long or short you have worked with Working Families, everyone has the same opportunity to voice their ideas.
Flexible working hours allow me to fit Working Families around my University schedule. After University I am considering doing a law conversion course; Working Families has given me an opportunity to get a real taste for what it’s like to work in law. Every day is different and more interesting than the last!
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