From Nursing to Law: Becoming a Clinical Negligence Solicitor

From Nursing to Law: Becoming a Clinical Negligence Solicitor

26th October 2021

“My route into Law was an unconventional one: after a career as a Nurse and an NHS manager, I made the transition to Medical Negligence law.

I began my career studying for a BSc (Hons) in Applied Science. I then trained in general and mental health nursing, qualifying as a registered mental health nurse (RMN). As a nurse with a degree, I soon became a manager, running a drop-in centre for a mental health charity and community mental health services for a council.

In the years that followed my career was focussed on the improvement of public sector services, working in roles at:

  • District Audit/Audit Commission
  • NHS Modernisation Agency
  • National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE).

I consolidated my management learning by completing a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) at Warwick University, where I had the opportunity to study in South Africa and the USA.

The MPA course was meant to set me on a journey to becoming a public sector director and/or chief executive, however whilst working for a director in a large hospital trust, I became increasingly concerned about the medical errors I was investigating, and the reluctance of the hospital trust to admit their liability. This concern led me to study law.

When I commenced a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), it became apparent how challenging it would be combining legal studies, with a full-time job in the NHS and family commitments. I therefore changed roles and worked as a locum inspector for the Care Quality Commission (CQC), where I planned inspections around my first year of legal studies. I subsequently moved to review criminal cases for the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), where I completed my second year GDL, leaving CCRC to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) full-time.

Finding a solicitor training contact, given my unorthodox background, was a challenge, however I was soon recruited by specialist personal injury firm in Manchester, qualifying as a solicitor in July 2021.

Why did I join Brindley Twist Tafft and James in Coventry?

I knew when I qualified as a solicitor that I wanted to work in medical negligence law. It was clear to me that my nursing and NHS experience, when combined with my audit/inspection experience provided me with unique knowledge about the NHS, how it operates, and the reasons why medical negligence can occur.

I am fortunate to how found a firm that recognised my skills and experience acquired in my previous roles – Brindley Twist Tafft & James (BTTJ) in Coventry. I am now delighted to be working at one of the country’s leading Clinical Negligence departments and bringing my unique background to the claims process for the benefit of our clients

As a newly qualified solicitor I am surrounded by a team with many years’ experience working in the field of clinical negligence. I am impressed with the level of care and attention that each member of the team gives to clients and potential clients from the moment they make contact with us.

I look forward to becoming an integral member of the team, and to successfully working with clients in pursuit of their claims.”

Julia French

Solicitor – Clinical Negligence