Our Catch Up With John Taylor

On the back of John Taylor’s recent retirement, we caught up with him to reflect on his time in the legal industry.

Here’s how our Interview with John went…

John Taylor

I have made no specific plans, but I expect that I will have lots more time to pursue my hobbies of walking in the Dales and Lakes, birdwatching, not to mention longer holiday opportunities.

When I first started as an articled clerk in 1962 I had very little idea of what a solicitor actually did.   I imagined, no doubt from the image of lawyers in films and on TV that the role involved helping people to understand and solve all sorts of problems, but with a flamboyance on the screen, which never resembled the actual challenges and hard work of the profession.   No doubt I was encouraged by parents’ views of a decent career.

I can look back with nostalgia at landmarks which are now taken for granted, the replacement of shorthand by tape recorders, the first photocopiers, STD ( that is automated phone systems), intercoms, electric typewriters, pagers, computers, mobile phones. 

I cannot claim any achievements except a measure of longevity.   I have vivid recollections as a young lawyer of attending assizes held long ago at Lancaster Castle where the judge pronounced the last death sentence in England, attendance on a client in the condemned cell and subsequently hearing the news of the reprieve.

I will be very pleased to escape from the daily battles with automated governmental systems that are creating a lot of the problems for clients and for lawyers

I have always imagined that everyone else’s job was easier than mine, even though this cannot be true.   I quite fancied being an estate agent.

I will miss friendships formed with clients, with members of the firm and members of other firms encountered daily until now.

I would suggest that there are two linked factors which aspiring young lawyers should focus on – staying ahead of new developments in technology and acquiring legal skills which will not be displaced by such technology/AI.

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