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  • “The SBA confirms my professional standing as a lawyer

  • “No one should feel their life is in such a state that they can’t ask for help”

  • “You know that there are people there to support you and that you are not alone”

  • “I was not yet suicidal but I was close to breaking point

SBA can help transform lives. Browse some of our stories from the beneficiaries who have benefited from SBA support.

Justine

Renovo Case Study

Justine qualified in 1990 and worked as a family practitioner in private practice. In 2015, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with a long-term neurological disorder. The next 18 months saw Justine begin to struggle with contentious work and she progressively lost confidence in her own skills, finding it difficult to cope with demanding clients when she herself felt vulnerable.

A year after her diagnosis, Justine moved to a more general team, thinking the work might be easier to manage alongside her condition. Unfortunately, she found instead a high pressure environment. After six months of ten-hour days – all computer-based with few breaks and no administrative support – she felt close to breakdown and had to leave.

Psychologically, I found it difficult to come to terms with my diagnosis and the limitations it imposed, in limiting my energy levels and movement.

“Psychologically, I found it difficult to come to terms with my diagnosis and the limitations it imposed, in limiting my energy levels and movement. It also had an impact on my speech and ability to write when tired. When I factored in my health issues, I knew I needed help to explore the viability of transitioning to non-contentious work. I still had working potential but no idea where, what or how.”

Justine spotted details about SBA in the Law Society Gazette and, within a week of making an application, had been referred to the Renovo service for specialist support with career transition. Here’s what happened next.

My coach at Renovo and the online sources of information and assessments they provide certainly helped me to re-focus, and gave me a sense of direction to help facilitate a return to work.

“My coach at Renovo and the online sources of information and assessments they provide certainly helped me to re-focus, and gave me a sense of direction to help facilitate a return to work.

I was able to assess that my future lay in non-contentious Private Client work – less stressful and where I could retain control and determine the pace at which I am able to work. I felt it was also the best field in which I could make the most of my transferable skills. Through Renovo, I worked on identifying and constructing the ’tools’ I needed to move forward.

It was a boost to my self-esteem, and a real test of my ability to cope with a return to work!

After a period of rest, counselling and medical intervention, I was ready to return to a new and permanent role. I tried a locum appointment with flexible hours. It was not the practice area I wanted to work in, but it was a boost to my self-esteem, and a real test of my ability to cope with a return to work!

I worked consistently with Renovo – who were very supportive – to take my career in the direction I needed to go as a Private Client lawyer. Within four months, I was able to fulfil my goal and took on a permanent appointment. It was all quite an experience. I couldn’t have done it without Renovo or SBA’s invaluable support – thank you so much for all your help.”

We change the names & images of our beneficiaries to protect their identity

Other stories

Justine

Renovo Case Study Justine qualified in 1990 and worked as a family practitioner in private practice. In 2015, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with a long-term neurological disorder. The next 18 months saw Justine begin to struggle with contentious work and she progressively lost confidence in her own skills, […]

Vanessa

When Vanessa completed her law degree in 1994, the plan was to become a criminal lawyer.  After a year working as an outdoor clerk, she realised that she could not manage on an income of £7,000pa, couldn’t afford the LPC and had little prospect of a training contract.   […]

Linda

Linda approached us for help in 2013, after a colleague pointed out the SBA’s ad in the Gazette. “I wasn’t keen,” she recalls, “I didn’t think it was for people like me.” “If it wasn’t for the SBA, I would have lost my home” Linda had always wanted […]

John

John is 49. He spent more than 10 years working as a senior prosecutor with the CPS but last worked more than two years ago. The pressure of a heavy workload contributed to the breakdown of his relationship and to him losing his job. He now lives with […]

Clive

Clive was a late entrant, admitted in 1983 after working his way up from legal executive roles. He was in private practice before setting up a highly successful conveyancing partnership in Wiltshire. This was a spell when, as Clive recalls, everything had been magical. “Every exam I took, […]

Lorraine

Lorraine is 48. She has a daughter aged 17 whom she has brought up single-handedly. She has never had any financial support from her previous partner. Her daughter was her “inspiration” to study law and qualify as a solicitor. Although her early years were very successful and she […]