It's gong time again: The unsung heroes of family law

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

The legal awards season is fast approaching once again, and it's not going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way.

Now, as anyone foolish enough to follow me over the years on Twitter (without muting me...) will know, I am not a great fan of legal awards. They always seem to revolve around the same old suspects, from the same old fashionable firms. And in any event, the idea that one particular lawyer/law firm/chambers was somehow better than all others that year is, of course, absurd.

But this post is not intended to be a criticism of the award system.

I practised as a family lawyer for about twenty-five years, working for unfashionable firms, in unfashionable locations. During that time I came across many excellent hard-working people, doing a wonderful job, often for limited reward, especially if they were doing legal aid work. I don't recall any of them ever being nominated for an award, let alone receiving one.

And it wasn't just solicitors and barristers. I am referring also to legal executives, social workers, Cafcass officers and others, including the army of support workers, without whom no lawyer, however eminent, can function.

So this post is a shout out for the ‘little person’, who quietly and efficiently gets on with the job, never seeking or wanting acclaim, and never blowing their own trumpet. I'm sure we all know someone who fits this description. If you do, don't be tempted to nominate them for a gong - they won't want anything so vulgar, and they certainly won't want the attention.

Instead, raise a virtual glass to the unsung heroes of family law. Cheers!