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Former Staff Officer, now Principal Legal Officer
Office of the Legislative Counsel (OLC)

“I have been challenged by my roles in the NICS but I’ve never felt unsupported.”

The OLC is a directorate within the Executive Office, based in Parliament Buildings.

We draft Assembly bills to deliver the Northern Ireland Executive’s legislative programme. We also work closely with Westminster on bills extending to Northern Ireland.

I’m a qualified barrister and practised for a number of years at the Bar in Northern Ireland. In 2014, I left private practice to join the NICS.

My main duties include analysing policy instructions, understanding the existing law, drafting legislation, analysing and providing comments on Bills drafted by others and advising and assisting departments in the managing of their legislative projects.

The best aspect of the job is the opportunity to learn from senior legislative counsel within OLC. My colleagues have fantastic legal minds, are conscientious civil servants, and, above all else, wonderful people to work with.

A close second is the nature of the work itself. Drafting legislation is an intellectually challenging activity. At OLC I’ve provided advice on difficult legislative matters, including the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. These are complex subjects with far-reaching consequences, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the law-making process.

You often hear that the NICS is a great employer offering a range of attractive benefits. And that’s true. What’s talked about less frequently is the scope and complexity of the work undertaken by government in Northern Ireland. The roles I’ve performed have been challenging and rewarding.

I have been challenged by my roles in the NICS but I’ve never felt unsupported and each of my line managers has contributed positively to my professional development. I feel that I have developed my skills and am making a positive contribution to society.