I'm Ruth Johnson, I'm a senior associate at Irwin Mitchell, and I work in our Serious Injury team.
I joined in 2014 when our new office opened in Southampton. I joined as an associate and progressed to a senior associate a couple of years ago.
Two things I particularly love about my job are the variety of work I encounter, and how rewarding it is to help make someone’s life better. There are days when you don't know what's going to come across your desk or what issue you might have to deal with. But making a difference, even a really small difference, to somebody’s life is why I do it.
Providing expert reassurance
When I meet with clients initially, we both know it's going to be a long journey. The reassurance I give them is that I will be beside them throughout that journey and we will take it as it comes. Nobody's journey through rehabilitation is the same, so the reassurance I give is that I will be there and we will navigate it together.
People will usually contact me after they have had an accident. It might be an accident at work, a road traffic accident – anything that's meant that they sustained a life changing injury. I meet with them and we talk about their options: whether they have a claim for compensation, how their rehabilitation might look and about their future needs as well. We have a chat about what we can do to help right there in the moment, but then consider longer term as well, when the time is right.
By talking through their options, I want to encourage them to remain optimistic. They’re reaching out to me at a time when their future looks uncertain, and often they may not have experienced a legal procedure before. My aim is to reassure them that I’ll be there to guide them through each stage, and we’ll work together towards their recovery and security.
On a human level, I just want to do what I can to help. It’s a good feeling when you know that somebody else is settled and feels safe again. They don’t have to worry about their future anymore and you've contributed something towards helping them feel like that. That’s the human touch that matters.
Caring for clients and colleagues
When you reach that point of settling someone's claim, it's a lovely feeling to think that you've given them some closure on the litigation process. They’re going to be able to move forward with the support network there to help them do what they need in the future.
For me, when the claim settled, I never stop thinking about my clients. I wonder what they're doing and how they're getting on. You go from speaking to them almost on a daily basis to almost not at all, so it's nice when you do hear from them later. Sometimes case managers will give you an update as to how they're doing or big life milestones. And it's lovely. It's lovely to step out of the picture almost until and to let people get on. But you never stop thinking about them.
I think at Irwin Mitchell, our colleagues genuinely care about the clients that they’re entrusted with. So many of conversations that I have with colleagues are about what can we do here? What can we do to make things better? And that I think that's what runs throughout all of us here.
My colleagues are so important to me. I couldn't I couldn't do the job I do without having them and being part of a wider team. It just wouldn't work. The fact that we have such a wide depth and breadth of experience that I can call on when I need it for my clients is amazing. That’s not just within my own team, we have so many other products and areas of expertise to help clients throughout their lives. They’ll often return to us for help with a different matter, which creates a really trusting – and sometimes, life-long – relationship.
A great place to work
The Irwin Mitchell Flexible by Choice policy really benefits me. I'm a parent, I've got two very small children. The policy enables me to flex my hours so that I can spend time with them, but also continue with my work around them. I don’t have to miss any of the important moments, either from my career or as my daughters are growing up.
I also really love exercising and getting outside when I’m not working. I live near the coast, so flexible working gives me plenty of opportunity to enjoy being by the sea. Nothing makes me happier than on a summer's day going down to Southsea seafront with the girls, watching them running in and out of the water. We finish the day by sitting on the beach eating fish and chips out the paper.
If someone was reading this and considering a career at Irwin Mitchell, I'd say that I don't think there's any better place to work. If you want to help people through a challenging time and be surrounded by colleagues who’ll support you as you support your clients, come join us.
Read Ruth's professional profile
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