Alumni Spotlights: Civil Litigation

Upon graduating, many students have to make the decision between continuing in their studies full-time, through the LPC or BPTC, or entering the workplace to utilise their law degrees with many graduate entry jobs in the legal sector being available. However, a growing number of our graduates are making the decision to do both – obtain a valuable job in the legal sector whilst completing their postgraduate studies part-time. There are many benefits to such an approach, including obtaining valuable work experience and developing their employability skills whilst balancing their study commitments. Elizabeth Stiddard, a UoG graduate, decided to pursue this route and has taken the time to tell us a little more about her experiences in her current role as Contentious Private Client Paralegal.

Elizabeth graduated in 2017 and whilst at the University was the President of the Law Society as well as an active member of the mooting community.

“Since leaving UOG I have secured a fantastic position at Goughs Solicitors, who took me on as a trainee litigator in October 2019, and promoted me earlier this year to a stand alone lawyer with my own case load and client base.

My official title is ‘Contentious Private Client Paralegal’, and I specialise in wills, trusts and probate disputes. A good majority of my recent cases have involved advising and assisting my clients with making or defending inheritance act claims. This is quickly becoming a more prevalent area of law, with many recognising that they have more rights and options available to them as prospective claimants over estate assets, than what may necessarily be set out in the Deceased’s Will or by the intestacy rules.

Other examples of the type of work I undertake include assisting clients who have challenges to make about the validity of a Will or Wills (usually on the basis of undue influence or lack of capacity), or disputes with executors or trustees about how the Will or Deed is being observed.

My work involves a lot of negotiation including formal mediations, with a vast majority of these kinds of cases being capable of being settled out of Court, saving clients a lot of stress, time and cost.”

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