Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, I worked in industry (Shell UK Oil) and in the voluntary sector (SOVA and the Children’s Society). I was admitted as a solicitor in November 1996, whilst with Loosemores Solicitors in Cardiff, and undertook a broad range of litigation work. In June 2001, I moved to Hurlows Solicitors, a niche family law practice, as an Associate, specialising in public and private law children’s litigation, and was a member of the Law Society Children Panel from 2000 to 2012.
I joined the Centre for Professional Legal Studies (CPLS) at Cardiff School of Law & Politics in January 2003, and completed an MA (Legal Practice) later that year. I have taught litigation and a range of practitioner skills on both the LPC and BPTC. In addition, I am the Director of the Cardiff University Law School Bond Solon Expert Witness Certificate. Currently, I am supervising the Mencap-WISE student advice project, which is being delivered in partnership with Mencap Cymru as part of the School’s clinical legal education programme.
I have undertaken various research projects for the CPLS, and was a member of the project teams which conducted the Quality Assurance for Advocates pilot, and the Alternative Commissioning of Expert Evidence Pilot (both for the Legal Aid Agency). In addition, I was co-author (with Professor Luke Clements and Dr Julie Doughty), of ‘Child Law for Social Workers in Wales’ (Care Council for Wales). I also regularly deliver conference papers relating to my key interests, including expert evidence and clinical legal education/employability skills.
In 2013, I was appointed Reader in law, and, since 2015, I have been the Associate Dean (Graduate Employability) for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, with responsibility for developing the College’s employability strategy in order to support the University’s mission of the student experience at Cardiff being a by-word for excellence.
Outside of the University, I retained a consultancy with Hurlows Solicitors, between 2003 – 2013, providing litigation and advocacy support in children proceedings. In 2007, I was appointed as a Justice of the Peace, and I am an authorised chair in both the adult criminal court and the Family Court. In 2011, I was appointed as a fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber (SSCS), hearing social security appeals.
I teach a range of knowledge and skills subjects across the Legal Practice Course and the Bar Professional Training Course, with particular emphasis on criminal litigation and child care law, and advocacy and conference skills.
In addition, I supervise students undertaking the LLM Legal Practice, and students participating in the School’s clinical legal education programme. I also train and assess expert witnesses undertaking the Cardiff University Law School Bond Solon Expert Witness Certificate.
Graduate Employability – How Can Universities Best Meet Student Expectations (Tucker J) in ‘Role of Law, Human Rights and Social Justice, Justice Systems, Commerce and Law Curriculum’ (Frenkel D; Athens Institute for Education and Research (2017))
[A review of different models of employability which support students in developing transferable skills and preparing for their future carers.]
2014 to date
Mencap WISE Student Advice Pilot
Supervisor of a clinical legal education project, delivered in partnership with Mencap Cymru, which authors advice guides to support people with a learning disability and their families/carers experiencing difficulties in relation to:
- ‘Housing Law: The rights of tenants with a disability’;
- ‘Accessing Social & Health Care Services: The rights of adults with a learning disability’;
- ‘Supporting parents with a learning disability through the child protection process’;
- ‘Applying for a place at a specialist further education collage: A Guide for Young People aged 19-25’.
The guides are available as a public access resource via Mencap Cymru's website: Mencap | Legal toolkits: know your rights
Acting as an expert witness (Tucker J) in ‘Forensic Odontology – An Essential Guide’ (Adams C, Carabott R and Evans S; Wiley (2014))
[A guide to acting as an expert witness, authored for a text book for forensic odontologists.]
Child Care Law and Practice (Tucker J, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (2013))
[A course manual for a practitioner course in child care law for legal support staff.]
Evaluation of Alternative Commissioning of Expert Witnesses in Care Proceedings Pilot (Tucker J, Moorhead R and Doughty J; Legal Services Commission (2011))
[An 18 month project, evaluating the provision of expert witness services by multi-disciplinary teams in public law children proceedings. The evaluation was cited as part of the evidence base informing the Family Justice Review, which recommended that a further pilot be undertaken building upon the lessons of the initial scheme.]
Child Law for Social Workers in Wales (Clements L, Doughty J and Tucker J, Care Council for Wales (2011))
[A programme of training materials for child protection social workers in Wales.]
Quality Assurance for Advocates (Devereux A, Tucker J, Moorhead R and Cape E; Legal Services Commission (2009))
[An 18 month project, piloting and evaluating quality assurance procedures for advocates in criminal proceedings.]