Western Mail, 7th April 2007
The radio alarm kick starts the day at 6.45 am to the sound of Sarah Kennedy on Radio Two. Breakfast is a hurried 5 minute meal with the children and my husband Daryl before the school run.
I normally arrive at work at 8.45 am. I am one of the co-founders and Partners of Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice in Windsor Place. We started the firm over 10 years ago as the first niche family law firm in Wales.
We now have a team of 26 dedicated members of staff including 13 lawyers. We have the biggest niche family law team in South Wales and we are ranked in the top band in Chambers.
Every day in work I try to make sure I speak to most of our team. I care for both our staff and our clients and I feel a real sense of responsibility to both.
Telephone calls arrive intermittently throughout the day. Monday morning is always the busiest for phone calls. Some divorce clients may have been wound up over the weekend by their spouse and often will need to speak to me on a Monday morning. It must be incredibly difficult for spouses to continue living under the same roof whilst going through a divorce.
If I am in court then invariably I will need to be there by 10 am and I could be there all day. Court work and advocacy for me is one of the most fascinating parts of the job. It is very exciting and I still get an adrenaline rush from it.
Most days if I am not in court I would see clients in the office. New clients tend to be anxious and tearful in their first interview and I try my best to put them at ease. I am still amazed by some of the stories which I hear and just when I think I can no longer be shocked, somebody tells me something which does shock me.
Lunch for me is normally a sandwich and a Starbucks at my desk. I know I should go out and have a lunch break and in an ideal world I would go swimming every day but in reality this just does not happen
Afternoons all whiz by and I tend to take home with me anything which needs doing that day which has not been dealt with during office hours. I leave work at 5.15 pm to be home by 6 pm.
I am normally greeted by a huge hug from my 3 year old daughter Kate and my 8 year old son Sam normally shouts down from his bedroom “Hi mum”. He is at the stage where his Playstation means more to him than anything! The next 2 hours are spent as family time.
By 7.45 pm, Kate is normally in bed and fast asleep and this is when I start working again. Often the next couple of hours are spent on management tasks and admin; preparation for any hearings, catching up on post; and emails.
From 10 pm to 11 pm is normally my wind down time. I usually read the Western Mail or watch TV or have a chat with my husband. Sometimes I manage to squeeze in a glass of wine but I am trying to ensure that this does not happen every day! I normally fall into bed between 11 pm and 11.30 pm for a 10 minute read.