What its like to work as an in house local authority lawyer: what I loved

For many, New Year is a time for reflection and 2021 has certainly been an eventful year. As regular readers of this blog will know, 2021 is also the year I left local authority and took a private practice role. It’s been nearly 6 months since then and I am (probation period dependant) settling intoContinue reading “What its like to work as an in house local authority lawyer: what I loved”

A return to the problem of ‘unco-operative patients’

I have written before about the difficulties I have encountered in practice in relation to individuals who do not co-operate with those trying to provide care and support. It’s causing particular issues with one of my cases this week, so I thought I would share. UP has a diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder andContinue reading “A return to the problem of ‘unco-operative patients’”

Putting emotion to the side, and the personal price of impartial legal advice

When I was at university, I was trained to put emotion to the side. It weaves through all the work we do, particularly around professional conduct. After all, lawyers can be asked to undertake any number of tasks they find morally or emotionally objectionable. Lawyers defend child molesters; they support parents that may seem unfitContinue reading “Putting emotion to the side, and the personal price of impartial legal advice”

Making the best use of in-house legal teams

I want to talk today about valuing your legal team, and how legal teams can adapt their ways of working to be more valuable. Because in private practice, lawyers are working in an open market. If they don’t attract clients, and deliver high quality services, then their income dries up. In-house lawyers don’t have toContinue reading “Making the best use of in-house legal teams”

Burn out, fatigue and a hypothetical fresh start

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that whilst a large number of people study law each year, a fairly small proportion of those people actually have careers in law. And an even smaller proportion actually end up as qualified solicitors or barristers, but it’s true. Using just my own experience, I wouldContinue reading “Burn out, fatigue and a hypothetical fresh start”

When everything hinges on a capacity assessment

I want to talk to you today about an issue that I am coming up against more and more at the moment in my day to day practice. Let’s refer to it as the ‘unco-operative patient’ issue. I am finding this to be a particular issue in personality disorder cases, where mental illness and personalityContinue reading “When everything hinges on a capacity assessment”

A massive relief when training goes to plan

Today I delivered some virtual training on analytical thinking as a practice skill for Best Interests Assessors and practitioners more generally for a lovely group of our in-house BIAs. This was the brain child of our DoLS manager and I and had been causing me no small amount of concern. Because I’ve never delivered skillsContinue reading “A massive relief when training goes to plan”

Mental Health Awareness Week

It is, I believe, Mental Health Awareness week. Whilst the purpose of this blog is largely to address legal issues, I am aware that none of those issues occur in a vacuum. Being a professional does not make us immune to emotion and stress, however much we wish it did sometimes. And working in theContinue reading “Mental Health Awareness Week”

Assessments, but do them remotely

So with the recent announcement that social distancing is likely to continue in one form or another for a while, we are all having to get used to ways of working more remotely. Remote assessments have been approved, in principle, by the government in the guidance on the MCA/DoLS that is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-looking-after-people-who-lack-mental-capacity. TheContinue reading “Assessments, but do them remotely”

Knowing what you bring to the table

Bear with me here, this might get a bit cheesy, but I think the message is important. I want to talk about how we get by, working in teams across different disciplines. Because that in itself is an important skill. So we are going to talk about planning a metaphorical dinner party. The first thingContinue reading “Knowing what you bring to the table”