I have worked at Wilsons as a level 2 caseworker since 07th January 2013.
This week I prepared a stateless application for a failed asylum seeker who has been in the UK for a number of years without leave to remain but whom the Home Office have been unable to remove.
To be stateless is to be without nationality or citizenship. It is a legal anomaly that prevents people from accessing fundamental civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights. The Home Office has an obligation to provide leave to remain in the UK to any person not recognised as a citizen of any country.
The preparation of a stateless application involves taking detailed instructions from the applicant, piecing together a comprehensive understanding of their history and understanding the nationality law of the county or countries involved. In this instance, it also involved liaising with a number of country experts and the embassies of the relevant countries.
Statelessness applications are often complicated and technical but in this instance we are hopeful a positive decision.
A large portion of my case-load is funded through legal aid and the on-going government cuts are a constant challenge to the ways we can provide accessible legal representation to the most vulnerable members of our society.
In April 2014 I am due to start a training contract. The training contract is the final stage on the path to qualifying as a solicitor and usually last 2 years. At Wilsons Solicitors, training contracts are spent in 3 different areas of law (referred to as seats).
As I am currently in the immigration department, it is likely that my first seat will be in immigration. After that I may be working in family, public or criminal law. I am very excited about the opportunity of learning more about different areas of law and putting in to practice my academic training. I am also looking forward to undertaking the Professional Skills Course which makes up part of the training contract.