Updated: Nov 17
This week we spoke with Nat Watson, a paralegal at Paton Hooke Lawyers & Conveyancers, about practising in the country and why she loves family law.
Janis - This is our first client spotlight with a paralegal, and paralegal seems to be one of those words that is used in different situations to mean different things. Tell us what is involved in your role?
Natalie - In my role as a paralegal I perform delegated legal tasks for our lawyers. As a paralegal I perform tasks requiring knowledge of the law and legal procedures. Some tasks that I perform include drafting documents, liaising with clients and barristers, and conducting legal research. I am studying at University and will graduate as a qualified paralegal in 2021.
Janis - Family Law is tough, and there are certainly other areas of law that you could pursue. What makes you want to keep doing Family Law?
Natalie - I like to help people and assist with guiding them through what is sometimes the most difficult time in their lives.
Each Family Law matter is different which makes the work interesting but more importantly I enjoy seeing the changes in our client’s from when they first come to see us to the end of their matter. When it comes to the end of a client’s matter and we look back to when they first came in and then seeing the difference that we have made in their lives, makes it all worth it.
Janis - you are a country law practice, what do you think is the main difference between practising in Taree and practising in a large city?
Natalie – I think one of the main differences between practising in Taree is we don’t have a large number of clients all at once. We have the ability to get to know our client’s in more detail and have a closer working relationship with all of our clients. Also, we are still seeing our clients in person. We don’t really see clients online, it just wouldn’t fit in with the way we do things here.
Janis - You use FamilyProperty in your practice, what is it about FamilyProperty that makes it attractive to you as a paralegal?
Natalie - My favourite is making proposal documents. I don't have to type up multiple different scenarios. I find it effective and easy to make multiple proposal documents which we then provide to our client in order to show them what their position is.
Our client’s find it helpful to see what their position will be and find it assists them with understanding how to proceed.
Janis - What are you looking forward to in the next year, what is going to be happening for you or for Paton Hooke Lawyers?
Natalie – In the next year I look forward to graduating from university and furthering my knowledge and education. At Paton Hooke Lawyers we look forward to welcoming back one of our Family Lawyers who will be returning from maternity leave next year and continuing to work with our fantastic colleagues to help our client’s.
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