Meet the Team – Jane Lucas
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Meet the Team - Jane Lucas
This is the seventh in a series of posts designed to provide you with some information about the team at Old Bailey Solicitors, what they do and why they do it!
Today its the turn of our administrative ray of sunshine, Jane Lucas
What is your job title?
How long have you been with Old Bailey Solicitors?
What did you do before joining Old Bailey Solicitors?
I worked for the court service for 17 years, based at a local Magistrates Court.
What made you decide to work for a firm of criminal defence specialists?
In my 50th year decided I needed a change. I had worked for the HM Courts and Tribunal Service for a long time and felt like it was time for a challenge. In my role at the court as a Case Progression Officer, I had met many of the local solicitors and barristers at court and I had been communicating with them by phone and email for years. So, moving to work for a firm of criminal defence lawyers didn’t feel like a complete jump into the unknown.
Describe your typical day at work
I do lot of chasing!
I chase clients for proof of their earnings for legal aid applications then I chase the Legal Aid Agency for confirmation of legal aid. I chase police officers to find out what is happening with our client’s cases and I chase the CPS for service of papers and interview discs. I arrange prison visits, including video-link meetings and I book interpreters where necessary. I help to organise the diary. I answer the phone when David our Receptionist is not around.
I make a lot of tea.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
No two days are ever the same. Sometimes I can have upwards of 30 files awaiting my attention and the requests for more people to chase keep rolling in.
What do you find most challenging?
Getting answers out of certain police officers! Until the recent law change, we would have countless clients on bail, often for months and months at a time, waiting for the police to finish investigating their cases or for the CPS to make a charging decision. Bail return dates would come round and our clients would be understandably anxious about the outcome. Some officers are very good at responding to a quick email enquiry. Sadly, many of them are not so good. Even now, with police bail being used less often, our clients still need to know what is going on with their case and so I have to chase chase chase the officers until I get a reply.
If you could implement one single change to the criminal justice system, what would it be?
I think that its outrageous that people who have been forced to pay for their own legal representation are often not able to make a claim for reimbursement, even when they have been acquitted. I think that, if you have been found not guilty, you shouldn’t be left out of pocket.