Host Organisation: Greater Manchester Law centre 2022

Sarah Murphy

Briefly explain your most recent educational background and any work (paid or voluntary) you were doing before you began your Fellowship?

I have been a secondary school languages teacher and, most recently, a political caseworker, representing constituents in the Northwest of England. That role highlighted the extent of social inequality and how so few have access to or understanding of their rights. I wanted to be able to offer support and representation, so I went back to university, studied law, and chose electives in employment and family law. During my studies, I continued working as a caseworker, volunteering at Support Through Court and the Greater Manchester Law Centre where I helped litigants-in-person and supported clients with their welfare claims.

Why did you want to apply for a Justice First Fellowship?

In an increasingly unequal society with legal aid funding stripped to the bone, it is critical that there are people prepared to work to represent those who are vulnerable, deprived of their rights and who struggle to access mainstream support or funds. However, there are very few training contract opportunities for those of us who want to work in social justice. The Justice First Fellowship offers a rare chance to train in that field and to contribute to the valuable work that the host organisations undertake. I am very grateful for the privilege, and I will give it my all.

Complete the following sentence: ‘Outside of my legal interests, I enjoy…’

Outside of my legal interests, I enjoy a very busy family life with three sons who come and go and an energetic dog who likes to walk me, whatever the weather. I like baking more than cooking, fiction more than fact, swimming more than running and wine more than tea. Sleep is great too, but I don’t get enough of it. I’m happiest when I’m with the people I love and preferably in the sunshine.

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