Rosalind Shaw: Emergency Services, Milton Keynes

Hi, I’m Rosalind

My early career saw me qualify as a legal secretary working in the Court as a Court Legal Assistant. I learnt so much about what a Legal Advisor does, which then inspired me to become a solicitor. I am now a Legal Advisor at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court specialising in Criminal Jurisdiction. My job is to advise the Magistrates, who are laypeople, on the law and procedure. All legal cases start in the Magistrates’ Court, and I must ensure that all parties have the opportunity to have their say, whether in trial, being sentenced or if applying for bail. I work closely with the police, crown prosecutors, defence solicitors and the Probation Service every day, ensuring that everyone appearing in court has a fair trial, regardless of their background. I love my work as there are so many different challenges that I must find ways to resolve.

If a defendant is unrepresented, it is also my job to assist them to present their case to the magistrates. I also help police court presenters who are unfamiliar with some of the processes. Part of my role includes mentoring trainee legal advisors, which is something that I really enjoy as I feel like I am giving something back.  I help them with courtroom craft, court preparation and recording the results of cases electronically. I see my job to be impartial to everyone, so that justice is not only seen to be done but that it actually happens.

During the early stages of the pandemic, no cases were heard for four weeks. My role during this time was to work from home notifying defendants and solicitors not to turn up to Court.  Once Court re-opened, I was one of three that returned to the workplace where I had to embrace new and untested technology. The new Court Video Platform was introduced to ensure that the administration of justice continued. This allowed solicitors and their clients to participate in proceedings remotely, which was especially beneficial for those who were vulnerable. Although it was a difficult time for everyone, it was also a time for people to come together to support each other, which is what myself and my colleagues did.

Rosalind and colleagues

The Magistrates Court where Rosalind works

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