Employee Story: Karen Baldwin
As part of our articles series, Employee Story, our colleagues share their experiences and path into law and their role at Fosters Solicitors.
Here, Karen Baldwin who is currently a Paralegal in our Family & Children team, explains her own career journey with and away from the firm, which has helped her develop key transferable skills.
How did you come to join Fosters Solicitors?
I first joined Fosters Solicitors when I was 21 in 2001 as a Personal Assistant in the Personal Injury department, providing maternity cover for six months. I had been to college and attained A Levels in Law and Business Studies and RSAs in Secretarial Studies.
I didn’t wish to go to university and went to work for the NHS in the medico-legal department. It was a natural progression for me to apply to work in a law firm as my interest lay in law and the Personal Injury department was a good fit. After the maternity cover ended I worked for another law firm, but I kept my eye on Fosters and took the next opportunity to return a few months later. I joined the Residential Property department as a PA, as I was happy to learn about different areas of law. I progressed to become a Practice Secretary – this role involved covering holiday, sickness and providing additional capacity throughout the firm.
How have your different experiences shaped your journey with Fosters?
I then went travelling and lived abroad for a number of years, but I kept in touch with Fosters as not only did I make friends there, I could see myself coming back to work there again one day.
I returned to the firm again in 2020 and joined the Finance department, having spent many years working in financial services for a law firm abroad. I have since then moved into the Family & Children department as a Paralegal, primarily dealing with legal aid billing/costing – utilising the skills I have built to provide key support to my current team.
Over the years I have had a few different roles here at Fosters in different departments, in the main part because the firm has a desire to develop and progress their staff. They encouraged me to develop my strengths and be open minded about my abilities and cross transferable skills. I’ve always felt valued and listened to and that is why I have come back to Fosters time and time again.