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Women in Law - Barbara Stewart

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Following on from last weeks International Women’s day we wanted to carry on celebrating the women we work alongside in our firm and share with you a little bit about them!

Our first article is about one of the first female Partners of the Firm, Barbara Stewart. Barbara has 34 years experience and expertise doing probate, wills, powers of attorney and residential conveyancing. During her long career Barbara has acquired vast experience in all aspects of her expertise. So you can get to know Barbara like we do we asked her 10 questions about her career and being a women in Law!

Why did you decide on a career in law?

I come from a modest (some would say working class) background and decided to take a law degree so that I would be able to pursue an interesting career and hopefully make some money along the way. At the time of my degree no tuition fees were payable. In those days it was not so difficult to obtain a training contract (then known as Articles) as it is now.

What one thing are you proudest of in your career?

There is no one thing that stands out. I am proud to be a solicitor and hope that I embrace fully all the responsibilities of that title. I take being a professional seriously.

Have you ever faced any challenges being a woman in a law firm?

Not especially - I have always worked at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors and feel lucky that ay our Firms career progression is, and always has been, based on merit and nothing else.

What gives you the most satisfaction in your role today?

Resolving for clients what they perceive to be insurmountable problems.

How do your keep a work life balance?

It is not always easy; being well organised is the key. I try to ensure I am always up to date at work.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?

The importance of treating everybody with respect and dignity.

What advice would you give to your younger self if you had the chance?

Never be afraid to embrace new challenges- especially in IT!

Tell us something about yourself that we might not have known in a professional environment?

I enjoy spending time with my family and gardening and I am a blackbelt in Karate and practice 3 times a week!

What is your favourite thing about working for Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

There is a good atmosphere .People support and care about each other. We keep up to date with new technology enabling work to be carried out more efficiently and the importance of regular training for all staff is recognised even though we all moan about having to do it!

Do you think there has been progress for women in Law and what do you think the future holds for the next generation of women lawyers?

Women have always been able to progress in firms such as Martin Tolhurst Solicitors. In general law firms need to be aware that to retain more women lawyers there has to be a degree of flexibility as far as possible in working hours .It is a difficult balancing act as the needs of the clients also need to be met.

If you would like to know more about Barbara or get in touch with her regarding an enquiry you might have you can view her full profile on our website here,