Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
After graduating most of my subsequent academic and employment career has been spent in social work. Three books have been published about my views and experiences. The point, however, is that my law degree helped me in this process (see below). I have not practiced as a social worker since 2014 though I continue to write and comment on social work/social policy issues. Incidentally, I am also a keen pike angler and author.
What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you chose Leeds?
I was born and bred in Leeds during the 1950s so it was no real surprise that I went to my local university. As for choosing law, my school teachers and my parents were influential - it was seen as a secure and well paid profession.
How would you describe your experience at the University and what elements would you describe as the most enjoyable/memorable?
I loved being at the university. Apart from the course itself, watching the Rolling Stones as well as many other mega-bands and playing for the Law Society football team stand out.
What did you think of your course? How has this helped in your chosen career?
As indicated, I enjoyed the course and although I did not pursue a career in law found the degree tremendously helpful in what became my future social work career.
How would you describe the help and guidance given by the staff within the School?
Excellent, no problems.
How would you describe the facilities at the University?
Again excellent, they could not be faulted.
What would you say about Leeds as a city?
Loved Leeds and still do - great football team (though in the doldrums at the moment!), great social scene etc. Some say it is the capital of the north!
Please tell us about your development since graduating from the university and how do you think your time at Leeds has helped with this?
After graduating I joined the civil service in (the then) Department of Employment as an employment adviser. I am not really sure why I decided not to pursue law other than perhaps thinking that, after all, being a solicitor or barrister was not for me.
I enjoyed my time advising people about employment options but became interested in other problems that many faced eg. mental health issues, housing problems. This where social work came in and I went on to study and qualify in social work at Lancaster University, before practicing as a social worker mainly with children and families across five decades. Over this period I also attended (the then) Sheffield City Polytechnic, Bristol University and completed my PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2002. Aspects of law came into these studies but more broadly I think that my law degree greatly helped in my ability to assimilate/digest information and such as cognition, critical thinking and analytic skills.
Please tell us about your current role/research. What are your plans for the future?
As stated, I have not practiced social work since 2014 though I am still a registered practitioner. However, I continue to write and commentate for various social work/social policy journals. I also write for various fishing magazines about pike fishing.
What would be your top tips in terms of careers advice for current students?
Do what your heart and mind tell you (I know this is a bit vague but it is the best I can come up with).