Work Life - Frances Edwards

Name – Frances Edwards
Firm – Caswell Jones, Caerphilly
Title – Legal Executive
How did your legal career begin?
I started work as a Legal Secretary at Llewellin & Burge in Newport at the age of 17. After moving to Caerphilly, I worked for Charles Crookes & Jones as a Secretary in the Family Department where I started the Legal Executive course. As I had young children and was working full time, I studied at home and took my exams over a 6 year period. I became a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 2000.
What is your area of expertise?
I work in the Family Department at Caswell Jones and have done so for 15 years. I complain, the same as everyone else, and because of the emotive nature of the work, it can be stressful but I have never really wanted to do anything else.
Do you intend to become a Solicitor?
No, there’s no need. I do the same work as a Solicitor. The role of a Legal Executive in the legal world is generally recognised and accepted. Legal Executives can become Partners of their firm, if the opportunity arises and can apply for judicial appointment.
What is your career highlight?
I don’t know that I can name one particular thing. I am involved with ILEX South Wales Branch and was Branch Chairman for 3 years. I am now on the ILEX Council which takes up a lot of time as our meetings are held at Head Office in Bedford. I am this year’s President of Rhymney Valley Law Society – the first Legal Executive to be a President of a local Law Society - so that would be high up on the list. Also I am on the Confederation Committee and have been for 3 years – it would be a highlight if Simon Mumford could get my name right!
Do you have any time for hobbies?
Yes, I go ballroom dancing. Mike, my husband, and I have been going for about 5 years. We also go to Salsa, its great fun. Mike enjoys cooking so he cooks our meals during the week but I have a sweet tooth and try to do some baking at the weekend. I don’t watch much TV but I enjoy the old Hollywood movies.
What is your favourite film?
Gone with the Wind – I love the costumes and the drama and Vivienne Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara was brilliant.

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