Pryers is all about the people, we have an experienced team working together to deliver excellent service to our clients. We caught up with Alice Bracken, who is a paralegal supporting our Medical Negligence Solicitors at Pryers.
The role of a Paralegal at Pryers
No two days are ever the same in the life of a paralegal at Pryers Solicitors. The days vary so much; one day you could be working on a case involving an injury during childbirth, the next a case of cancer misdiagnosis. I love my job because there are so many different aspects to a medical negligence claim, many that I would not have considered before working here.
Usually, in the first hour of my day I check all of my emails, reminders, task lists and appointments. I start by writing a to do list of anything that is urgently required for that day. This could be taking a witness statement from a client over the telephone or perhaps a deadline that cannot be missed. It is amazing how many emails can build up just from one night. My team and I work very closely and I always make sure I know where and when they need me the most. This means I have to prioritise work very carefully, sometimes putting a certain task on hold to keep a case moving along. Although I am assigned to my team, I am always happy to help other teams if they need me.
Point of contact
Throughout the day I often need to contact clients to discuss their claim and give them with an update. Many of our clients have been through a quite a traumatic experience so I find that some of them just like to have a general chat to help put their mind at ease. A medical negligence claim is quite complex, so I think they appreciate me taking the time to explain how things are going.
I also liaise with our nursing agents, medical agencies, defendants and medical experts. I often have to approach an expert to see if they can support our client’s claim of negligence. For example, I might ask a psychiatrist to comment on how an incident has affected our client moving forward or an orthopaedic surgeon to comment on a knee or shoulder injury. Their experience and knowledge is crucial, they can provide evidence that may show that negligence occurred.
I regularly review extensive client medical records. These help me build the full story of our client’s treatment and where negligence may have occurred. These records are sensitive and complex, requiring a lot of time to work through. It can sometimes take a full day, depending on how many records there are from different hospitals/GP practices. Unfortunately we don’t always receive all the medical records. So, I often have to request any missing copies from the relevant health centre. The records can be up to 5,000 pages long, so it is important that I am in a quiet area and that my concentration levels are very high. Working remotely during lockdown means I can normally work on these without any distractions.
I really like supporting my team and am always happy to help whenever they need me. Working remotely has changed the dynamic of the team, but I stay close to their workloads and they all know I am a phone call or email away. I love that they come to ask for help contacting clients, Defendants, experts or Counsel on their behalf. The range of work is so interesting and has taught me so much. When I look back at my role of a paralegal at Pryers I realise I have learnt a lot more than I expected.
Although my working day is busy, there is always time for a cup of tea!