Law girl puts others first


A member of the Family & Matrimonial team at Leeds-based Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors has been granted extended leave next year to carry out charity work overseas. The law firm's support for Liz's personal and professional development comes hot on the heels of her recent participation in World Youth Day (WYD) 2013.


The weeklong event in July, hosted in Rio do Janeiro, saw hundreds of thousands of young Catholics from around the globe flock to the Brazilian capital to join in the celebrations aimed at strengthening faith and inter-cultural friendships. Liz joined the 17-strong group from Leeds University Catholic Society lead by Fr. Peter Kravos of the University's chaplaincy.

For the duration of her stay, Liz was welcomed into the home of a local family who offered a convenient base from which to participate fully in the various activities taking place throughout WYD.

Liz said: "We went to Mass on the Sunday evening at the local church and the priest invited everyone visiting for World Youth Day up onto the altar at the end to receive an applause. It was so lovely and made us all feel very welcome - almost like celebrities!"

Highlights of WYD 2013 included a pilgrimage to the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top of Corcovado Mountain, a prayer vigil led by Pope Francis and a papal address on Copacabana beach. Organisers estimate the massive economic benefit Pope Francis' visit to be $220 million, including the creation of some 20,000 jobs.

"All in all it was an absolutely wonderful experience, and one that I would gladly repeat. Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful place and well worth a visit.

The trip has given me lots of happy memories which I will cherish forever," she said.

Emma Pearmaine, Head of Family & Matrimonial at Simpson Millar LLP says that Liz is an inspiration and that her dedication to helping the vulnerable goes beyond the expertise she provides in her professional capacity. Her participation in WYD was an extension of her involvement in her local church and underscored her desire to contribute to others during her planned 2014 sabbatical.

"Liz was the first person to join me in Simpson Millar LLP's Family & Matrimonial department back in 2010 and I knew straight away that she would bring something special to the team," said Emma, adding: "Simpson Millar's Family team provides legal services to the vulnerable locally, but Liz does so much more, personally visiting and providing practical and emotional support. Every week without fail, Liz gives up many hours of her free time to support the contribution of her church in the local community and I think her work, particularly with the young and the elderly in Leeds, is an inspiration to many.

"Liz is using her experience in Rio to help inspire other young people in Leeds, and develop her local youth group here. I am sure she will be successful and she has the full support of the firm."

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