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In the next instalment of our Q&A series, I’ve sat down with Amanda Taylor, a Private Client Solicitor here at Howells.

Amanda joined the Howells family during the Christmas period last year and we’ve finally managed to take a few minutes out so you, our readers, can get to know the real Mandy and her experiences with us so far.

So, Amanda, Tell Us A Bit About Your Background

A lot of these articles start with people saying how they have always wanted to be a solicitor, but not me!

From a young age, I went through phases of wanting to be a teacher, a doctor, a zookeeper, you know, the phases every young child goes through. I didn’t really start to seriously think about what I wanted to do until I reached the age of about 15 or 16.

I had an aptitude for languages and loved learning about different places and cultures. Truth be told, if I wasn’t a solicitor, I probably would have enjoyed being a linguist. However, that career route was scuppered when I was advised that my school didn’t offer Spanish at A Level.

When it got to the point that I had to pick my A Level subjects, I knew that I loved English. I loved reading and devoured books, so this seemed a natural choice for me. I also loved History and Sociology, so I also picked these, along with Biology to satisfy my natural curiosity.

Where was law amongst all of this, you may ask. Well, it wasn’t. I didn’t pick it. I actually studied and completed an English undergraduate degree and thoroughly enjoyed it. When that came to an end, I was still debating with myself about what I wanted to do.

I had researched a few different career options including law and luckily for me, my sister was already a secondary school teacher, so I had an insight into what this was like on a day to day basis. I decided not to go with teaching and kept coming back to the law.

Eventually, I decided to take a year out from studying and entered the world of full-time work to save some money and go travelling. I can safely say that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I travelled with my now husband and one of my good school friends for three months and had some of the best times of my life.

Reality soon kicked in when I touched down into Heathrow airport and thought – right, Mandy! What are you going to do now!? And I can honestly say that the decision I made at that point was one of the most important decisions of my life. I decided to do a law conversion course at Swansea University which set me in good stead to enable me to go on and study a legal practice course at Cardiff University, and the rest is history!


What Do You Look Forward To?

When I come into work, I look forward to looking at my schedule for the day (I often plan ahead and make tasks for myself on new and existing cases in my electronic diary) and seeing whether I have any new appointments.

I am a people person and I enjoy meeting new people and exploring ways I can help them. I also like finding pragmatic solutions to often complex and worrying situations for my clients. With my area of law, people tend to come in feeling stressed anxious and grief ridden, and it’s lovely to be able to take some of that pressure off them.


How Many Clients Do You Speak to on a Daily Basis?

It really depends as to whether or not I have any new appointments or if I have a lot scheduled for that day. Generally, I can interact with between five and ten clients a day depending on what I’m doing and which cases I am working on.


What is Your End Goal When It Comes to Clients?

I can honestly say that client satisfaction is my ultimate goal. I want to feel like I have made a difference and that I have genuinely helped my clients in some way.


Favourite Song, Film, Season, Food, Hobbies?

This is really difficult!

I love all sorts of music - I have a really eclectic taste! I can’t pick a favourite song, that’s too hard! Some of my favourites include Raspberry Beret by Prince, Blue in Green by Miles Davis, and Echo by Incubus.

The same principle applies to films really, but I really love The Matrix, Gladiator, Top Hat and Rear Window (I’m a real Hitchcock fan!).

My favourite season is definitely summer. It’s when I was born, and I love basking in the sun!

My hobbies include road running and gym going, reading and cooking. I’m obsessed with cookery programmes too.


You’re Planning a Dinner Party, Which Three People Would You Invite to Your Last Meal (Dead or Alive) and Why?

This is SO hard! I think I would definitely have to invite:

1. Dr Martin Luther King - I would have so many questions for him. I would also love for him to see how far things have come since he got tragically killed.

2. Shakespeare – I would love to ask him if he thought that both he and his work would be so iconic so long after his death. I would also love for him to see how much language has evolved since his time and ask his reaction.

3. Oprah Winfrey – Over the years, I have seen this incredible woman interview some of the most diverse and interesting characters. For this reason, I would love to interview her. She has had such a varied and turbulent life. I’d love to find out more about her as an individual and her career – highs and lows!


Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years’ Time?

Whenever I was asked this question in the past, I would answer this not knowing what the future held. I feel different this time. At Howells, I feel as though there is genuine scope for career progression. I am very happy here and I can definitely see myself having a long and happy career as part of the Private Client Department.


Want to Learn More?

If you’d like to find out more about what we do in our Private Client department, please browse our site and get in touch with Amanda and her team.

Alternatively, learn more about the team at Howells Solicitors here.

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