Staff Spotlight Series
Each month we will now be featuring one of our Solicitors, Chartered Executives or Paralegals- this way you can learn a little more about the members of the NLS team and what makes them tick!
This month's staff spotlight is on Fatimah Iqbal, Supervising Solicitor for Guildford & Southampton. Fatimah undertook her training contract in one of the country's largest Legal Aid firms where she specialised in areas such as Divorce, Financial Remedy, Private Law Children, Domestic Abuse, Public Law and Probate.
What is your current role and how did you come about working at NLS Solicitors?
Currently I am a Supervising Solicitor for Guildford and Southampton at NLS. I started at NLS at a time when I was looking for growth and recognition. NLS is known for investing in its staff and ensuring job satisfaction. I wasn’t wrong and I haven’t looked back since!
What inspired you to pursue a career in family law?
I was always very interested in sociology and family dynamics, as our perceptions as a society changed and we realised that a nuclear family isn’t always the right fit for everyone. I was fascinated by families that change and reshape themselves for a happier life. Law has always been an extremely exciting and dynamic industry so combining both was always going to be an organic outcome for me.
What are your specialisms?
I specialise in a range of areas within family law, such as: Divorce. Childcare. Private and Public Law Children. Financial Relief. Domestic Abuse.
What are your strengths as a family solicitor?
I feel that at the core of my personal policies I place the most vulnerable in the dynamic who are the children. If you are pursuing the best outcome for the most vulnerable in any given situation you will always be in a winning position. Apart from this I think the key strength for any lawyer is research, always be prepared and organised.
What was the last thing you accomplished at work that you were most proud of?
My accreditation for Family Law. I only qualified short while ago, however it is such an honour and so rare to acquire panel membership in such a short time that I am immensely proud of this achievement. It is a demonstrable reward of all my hard work and recognition of knowledge and experience.
How is NLS Solicitors different to other firms?
NLS is vastly different to any other firm that I’ve worked for because of its staff. It is a forward thinking dynamic employer. NLS has made diversity its strength, we have a large cohort of female and BAME lawyers we are proud of and every single person brings something special to the table. We value a hard work ethic and we recruit team players. The quality of my peers is definitely what sets us apart.
What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is knowing that in a small way I can make a difference for the better to people’s lives. That I can ensure the safety and security of people who sometimes haven’t had that in a long while. My clients and their needs are paramount, I don’t view my clients as cases to win or lose but as people to ‘secure’. ‘securing’ safety, happiness, peace of mind, basic human rights are the most satisfying part of my job. The most challenging part of my job is definitely the billing aspect, I am better with words than numbers!
Do you undertake any volunteering roles?
I volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau and East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services, both are extremely rewarding opportunities to give back to your community. I also volunteer at the homeless shelter opposite Grays Inn in London on Sundays. The ‘guests’ who visit for a warm meal and someone to talk to are always a pleasure to speak to and learn from and the coffee is always very good!
What do you do like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy travelling, learning and living new cultures, I love to come out of my comfort zone and travel to places a little off the beaten track and live a life that’s teaches you something different. My favourite so far has been living in a Berber village. I think for our own personal growth and to evolve, it is important to see things from perspectives other than your own. I think it was Foucault who said that if I feel the same way about something in 10 years then I have failed to evolve.