My own legal career path started whilst attending my local state secondary school where a career guidance talk from a local solicitor enthralled me, to studying law at Glasgow University, then securing a partnership in a legal firm, which I gave up after over 18 years in private practice to spend more time with my young family. Looking then for part-time work, in 1999 I applied to be a Fee-Paid First-tier Tribunal Judge in the Social Security and Child Support, Social Entitlement Chamber. A totally different area of law than I had encountered to date.
Moving on to salaried when the chance arose in 2014, I gained more experience in dealing with appeals as well as pastoral matters for tribunal members, complaints and training.
I was enthusiastic to be appointed as Regional Tribunal Judge (RTJ) in 2020, as I relished the challenge of seeing the bigger picture and combining the demands of the admin matters with a judicial role.
The RTJ role is challenging, very diverse and extremely motivating, as you are tasked with combining managerial skills, leadership responsibilities and judge craft.
There will be opportunities to be involved in reform, cross jurisdictional projects, training, diversity & inclusion and appraisal as well as supporting the Chamber President in the leadership and management of the Chamber.
I am very proud of my role as the work that RTJs conduct is vital in ensuring that the wheels of justice keep turning. There is a great sense of collegiality amongst the RTJs which is all very supportive and encouraging.