Michelle Hynes LLB (Hons), also known as @legaleaglemhm on Twitter, is a multiple award winning law graduate from the University of Glasgow.
She has recently finished studying for the Diploma in Legal Practice and is en-route to the Faculty of Advocates where she hopes to be called to the Scottish Bar.
Michelle’s journey to the legal profession has been marked by personal tragedy. She has fought for the last eight years to rebuild her life following the death of her son, Owen.
She is a self described ‘Legal geek,’ an avid user and advocate for Twitter, and new forms of communication. She dedicates her time to her family and a portfolio of projects including mentoring other students, providing marketing consultancy to the legal profession. Michelle is the founder of a global project connecting law students around the world. She is an exhibited artist and also writes poetry. Her passions are her girls, law (especially legal theory), jurisprudence, and criminal law.
Michelle Hynes currently works as a consultant with a specialist niche criminal practice and will be commencing a Bar Apprenticeship in March 2011. Known for her vitality and enthusiasm, Michelle enjoys mooting and legal debate. Her passion for ‘justice’ is what drives her.
Keeping up with Michelle can be a challenge but I managed!
1: What is your most favourite part of the day?
Morning is my favourite part of the day as I am an early bird and am always up at 6 am. Living in Glasgow’s West End is vibrant and alive but, mornings are like sleepy hollow. The University of Glasgow has a tower with bells which chime every 15 minutes, early in the morning. I can hear them clearly from my bedroom window. It is a lovely sound. Having two girls, it is also a perfect time for me to prepare for the day ahead.
2: What is the worst kind of person you ever sat next to on a flight?
The worst type of person to sit next to on a flight is someone who shuts their eyes and goes to sleep. I love conversation and have had brilliant discussions on flights with interesting people from around the world. I have sat next to lots of celebrities and explorers and have had a few scary experiences too including turbulence.
3: Were you ever in a situation where you came up short with a good come back? You can give it now!
Of course not! I am always prepared.
4: Which trial/case still haunts you till today?
Sadly, my little boy died in 2002 and I fought very hard to get a fatal accident enquiry. I then fought to have a complaint lodged with the General Medical Council as medical negligence is involved. Now, some 8 years later, I still await the civil action to come to court although it is scheduled for 2011. My little boy’s death was the impetus for my study of law and the journey I embarked upon to attempt to seek ‘Justice’ for other families like mine. I will soon qualify as a lawyer and my task will begin then.
5: If you have a blog, how did you get started? Who or what inspired you to blog?
My first blog actually was a journal and I started it in 2003 with a view of recording my journey. My motivation was to record the harrowing time my family was going through following my son’s death and I wanted to record it to be able to help other families in the future. It now has 75000 words and forms the main chunk for a book which will be completed within the next year. I have already had interest from a publisher for the book. The book will not be finished until my journey to become a lawyer is over. It’s a long book as it has been a long journey.
I moved on to an online blog in 2006 when I began blogging about Glasgow University and my own experiences living in Patrick. I set up my first twitter account whilst in my final year of my LLB in 2008/2009 and set up a short blog but, I didn’t do very much with it.
I currently have a wordpress blog which I set up around September 2009 and this is a personal blog of my journey through the Diploma in legal practice at the University of Glasgow. I also had a TV channel built in 2007 which has my exhibition ‘colours of Glasgow.’ I am in the process of building a new video channel thanks to www.moviecom.tv for a global project called Legaleaglettes Global and that will launch later in the year. This new channel will take my blogging in a new direction focusing more on video blogging but with a traditional written blog too. It’s an exciting project and I can’t wait for it to launch. I also have a personal blog of my poetry which I write for pleasure.
6: Did you end up in the profession of your childhood dreams?
As I child I wanted to become an artist. I secured a pace at Glasgow School of Art but decided to take up the offer of a civil service post before entering into a career spanning over ten years of international marketing. I decided to change directions in my career in 2004 aged 36 and following the tragic death of my son. My aim was to become a lawyer.
7: Tell us about your most embarrassing experiences in a restaurant, opening a bottle of wine, or do-it-yourself projects. Pick one and tell all!
My most embarrassing moment was when a colleague at a firm I worked with asked me if I had a luminous vest that she could use to go running on dark nights. I remembered that I had one somewhere at home so that evening I searched amongst the linen cupboard and located the bright green PVC vest. I popped it into the washing machine and subsequently into the dryer retrieving it early next morning and putting it into my bag.
At the office in front of all the staff, I announced that I had indeed found the running vest for her and put my hand into my handbag to remove the vest. I held it up to pass over to her and attached to it was a very lacy pair of panties firmly stuck to the Velcro and shining like a beacon for all in the office to see. I tried to unattach them but of course the Velcro was stuck fast. Everyone erupted in laughter and I did find it funny though I was blushing.
8: Have you ever dozed off during a lecture or meeting?
I haven’t dozed off at a meeting but I did have a very funny experience in a very important meeting with a large board of directors. I traveled to an important pitch meeting together with a creative team to pitch the design and production of a new bespoke type of label for a brand new alcopop being launched globally.
The firm I worked for as Marketing Manager and New Product Development Manager had sourced new materials for the production of labels which were scented with the flavours of the beverages. The room was very quiet as I was presenting and the pitch was going really well. The result of this meeting would be an order worth tens of thousands of pounds. Imagine the puzzled looks on the faces of the Head of Procurement when I pass round the ‘smelly labels’ for them to examine. It was funny and embarrassing at the same time and yes, we did get the order.
I would like to take this opportunity to say “congratulations” to Alice for this blog, and just to say how important it is for the families of the victims in the cases she brings to light. Cold cases are only cold to the general public. For the families the wound remains open and getting closure is sometimes the only ‘justice’ they can have. I have waited 8 years and every day has felt like a lifetime. As I travel my journey to become an advocate I hope that one day I too can be part of that process in helping others find ‘Justice.’