I was a commercial lawyer for 30 years. One day, when my daughter was 15, she said to me: “I want to be a lawyer but I don’t want to be a lawyer like you. I want to be a lawyer that does good.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer but I didn’t want to be on my deathbed and think that that was all I had done. So I started looking for a charitable project to work on. Z2K was perfect because it does two things. It provides services to individuals and it uses their stories to campaign for changes in the law.
Providing services is very satisfying because we can help almost everybody who comes to us. The system is so poor that a bit of articulacy and knowledge of rights can go a long way. But we see the same problems over and over and it would be very frustrating if that was all we did, without campaigning.
I’ve been doing this for eight years and I’ve got more angry over time. So many aspects of welfare reform are political and don’t save money. Our clients’ lives are being destroyed so that the government can please the Daily Mail.