Sarah’s story

Case study

Sarah’s story

Sarah’s lifeline at a time of financial and emotional crisis


Britain’s cost of living crisis has left many families and individuals feeling the pinch over the past few years – and it may be surprising to hear that solicitors are no exception. Busy mum of two Sarah worked as a solicitor for a local authority after qualifying in 2010, and then for the Law Society. While she and her partner were expecting her first child, she was made redundant and using the redundancy money and maternity allowance, the couple were just about managing to pay their bills when their baby daughter arrived. 


In 2022, during the tail end of the coronavirus pandemic, Sarah returned to work part-time as a locum solicitor for another local authority – but six months later, she became pregnant again. That was the turning point for the family’s finances. The maternity benefits given to a contracted solicitor weren’t enough and she soon realised there was too little coming in each month to cover the costs of her growing family. As a legal professional, she was directed to The Solicitors’ Charity for support when using an online benefits calculator.

“I was aware of the Charity through my earlier work with the Law Society, but never even thought their services would cover my situation,” she explained. “I submitted an application and thought I’d never hear back. But instead, a caseworker contacted me and told me they’d be able to help me. It was a real lifeline during hard times.”

Sarah was financially supported for the duration of her maternity leave, including funding to pay for garage repairs when her car failed her. In addition to the short-term financial support offered, she also took up the offer of emotional help in the form of psychotherapy sessions. It’s testament that The Solicitors’ Charity takes a holistic approach to individuals coming to them for support and recommends a package of wellbeing services to help people through challenging times. Just before she started working again, she received additional support to help with her children’s nursery costs and the Charity also paid for Sarah’s practising certificate – without which she could not get another job.

“The Solicitors’ Charity gave me breathing space at a time when I was struggling to make ends meet,” said Sarah. “I had been naive in thinking we could cope, but it was overwhelming. My caseworker really helped me chat through things and put me on the right road. I would urge anybody in the profession who has difficulties with the cost of living to make an application for support. Often talking about money is a taboo subject but the Charity isn’t judgemental or stuffy, they can really help you.”

Sarah’s fortunes have been turned around. She has started a new job and has a salary coming in again, her children are in nursery, the car is back on the road – and the bills are paid. Sarah was keen to tell her story as she was surprised at what varied and tailored support she has had from the Charity from financial wellbeing support, all the way to psychotherapy which helped her overcome the emotional challenges she faced. 

“I’m telling my story to encourage others like me to seek help from The Solicitors’ Charity, I am very grateful to them,” she says.

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