The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Personal injury

those looking to pursue this career path must be organised and able to manage varying deadlines. “All lawyers will say that ‘no two cases are the same’,” she comments. “But it really is true. I am always dealing with different types of injuries and clients with differing and unique circumstances.” The litigious nature of the work means that there is a big focus on evidence, and this involves a lot of investigation on Nimmisha’s part. “I really enjoy the research aspect of my job,” she explains. “It’s about building up a case based on the legal evidence. We gather medical records and review them. We instruct experts – not just medical experts – but engineers, accountants and employment experts too. After the investigation, we will put together a strategy of how we’re going to win the case.” Empathy is key A crucial skill for personal injury lawyers is empathy. As Nimmisha clarifies, “you need to be able to empathise with your clients. You will be dealing with people who have often suffered a great deal of trauma. For some of them, they have experienced the worst possible thing in their lives. They’re going to come to you in a very vulnerable state, so you need to be able to manage that.” A memorable moment in Nimmisha’s career to date was her first inquest in 2017, which involved assisting a client whose brother had died from a misplaced major gastric tube. Working pro bono, Nimmisha represented the client in the inquest and settled the attached clinical negligence case quickly. “The highlight was being able to help the client,” she says. “It meant a lot to the family to represent them and give them some closure.” Nimmisha is also currently acting for a number of Grenfell Tower victims and families in their civil claims. “The group action has been very interesting to work on,” she says. “I am

Personal injury (PI) law falls under the law of tort. It involves civil law cases brought to obtain compensation for injuries sustained, to restore the injured person to the position they would have been in had the injury not happened. The subject matter varies considerably and can range from controversial, high- profile disasters to road traffic accidents to health and safety cases. A related specialised practice area of PI law is clinical negligence, which involves injuries suffered during medical procedures. Attracted by the idea of working closely with clients, Nimmisha Aslam was always set on becoming a solicitor. After studying the LPC, she volunteered at the Birmingham TUC Centre for the Unemployed for a year and a half, advising clients who couldn’t afford representation. It was this work experience that led her to become a paralegal at Russell- Cooke Solicitors in 2012. In 2016, Nimmisha qualified into the personal injury team after applying for the SRA’s equivalent means exemption scheme. “I’m a huge advocate for volunteering at places such as Citizen Advice Bureaus,” says Nimmisha, noting her own pro bono efforts as key to her qualifying as a solicitor without undertaking a training contract. “You are given a lot of responsibility when you work at these places. I had even done advocacy in a tribunal against a barrister before I qualified as a solicitor! You don’t get to do those things in a law firm.” A diverse workload Nimmisha’s current work in the personal injury team is diverse: “We do everything within PI and clinical negligence, including serious and catastrophic road traffic accidents, accidents at work, abuse claims, criminal injuries claims, birth injuries, misdiagnosis and negligent surgery.” With a caseload of around 60 matters at any given time, she is clear that

For more firms that work in this practice area, please use the “Training contract regional indexes” starting on p197.

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