Katie Powell, MT: 2005 Anglo-American ScholarJul 14th, 2005 | By critellilaw | Category: Anglo-American Scholar, Public Service
London law visitor spends time in Harlan
Friday, July 15, 2005www.HarlanOnline.com
by Emily KleinNews Reporter
HARLAN — Katie Powell is almost 4,000 miles from her family and school in London, England but said the people of Des Moines and Harlan have made her feel at home. Powell recently finished her law studies in London and was chosen to spend July and August working under former Iowa State Bar Association President Nicholas Critelli in Des Moines.
She arrived in Des Moines on July 4 ands spend her first week learning about he law office and what cordially does. Critelli is friends with J.C. Salvo, Harlan, who is the active president of the Iowa Bar Association and asked if Powell would be interested in spending three days at Salvo, Deren, Schenck & Lauterbach PC in Harlan.
Powell said she has visited California, Florida and New York in the past but Iowa was much different. “It’s such an opportunity to see how American law works,” she said. “You can get such a warped perspective if you just go to those big cities.” Powell, a London native, said when she started college she didn’t intend to sutdy law. She attended Oxford University for three years studying philosophy, politics and economy.
Though her mother is a law professor and her father is a lawyer, Powell said she really didn’t become interested in a legal career for herself until she learned more about it in her classes. She enjoyed competing in debating competitions and said when her classes discussed politics and freedom she realized that she would like to become a barrister. After Oxford, she attended City University for a year to learn the basics of law before moving onto the Inns of Court School of Law in London for a year where she received more specialized training about cross examination and conferencing skills.
In the British legal system, there are two types of lawyers. One is the solicitor who handles standard written legal advice, Powell said. The other is the barrister who actually argues a client’s case in court. Powell said the client does not contact a barrister, but rather they contact a solicitor for advice, then the solicitor contacts a barrister if one is needed. Learning about jury selection and practice juries is very foreign, Powell said, because in British law, the judge is the only person a lawyer need to persuade.”There’s a much greater faith in America with trusting the everyday person.” she said. “I think it’s important that the average man is involved in law.”
Though she said she hasn’t drawn any conclusions about which country’s legal system she thinks is more effective, Powell did say she worried that some people in the UK avoided pursuing legal action because if they lost the case they would have to pay all the legal fees. Powell said so far her impression of the Midwest has been positive. Not knowing anyone in the region, she said everyone has been very welcoming. She also said she has been impressed by the number of American flags she has seen. “There’s a real sense of national identity that I think British people feel awkward about,” she said.
Powell said she has enjoyed the beautiful countryside and sense of community in Iowa. She said she would like to practice law in the United States but its legal system is too different from Britian’s. When she leaves Des Mones, Powell will return to London to begin her pupilage which will last a year and hopes to be offered a tenancy afterward. She plans to focus on commercial law during her pupilage and tenancy. When finished, Powell said she will be able to practice law on her own.