Meet Marie Downey, Chair of the In-House Lawyers' Group

Why did you join Devon & Somerset Law Society?

Sue Aggett - DASLS Past President and my training principal, gently persuaded me to.


What is your dream job?

A Doctor.

I am fascinated by anything medical and love the theory of medicine, however I would never be able to deal with the reality as I have got more squeamish as I get older.


Which sort of work gives you the most job satisfaction?

Any occasion on which I have worked closely with a client department, as a team and have gone on to achieve a satisfactory outcome for the Council. As an in house lawyer I really enjoy having the relationship that I have with my client officers, you get to know each other and understand each other’s ways of working. Often even when the pressure is on, the case is complicated and time isn’t on your side, because of the familiarity you find time to laugh.


What gets you up in the morning?

It used to be my alarm but now I wake up most days at the same time without one.


What do you do in your spare time?

I swim, I have swam competitively all my life and train with the DT’s Master Swimming Club.


What book are you reading at the moment?

I have just finished, Becoming, by Michelle Obama. She is so passionate about looking after the Youth, has been involved in the promotion of successful health campaigns and also in encouraging young women reach their full potential. It was a good read, especially having an inside peep into life inside the White House.


What is the most recent film you have seen?

A Star Is Born, although I remember the Barbara Streisand version of the film, although I must have watched it years after it first came out.


What are your favourite food / restaurant?

Probably Italian, However I love “good food” of any variety. I dislike fish and seafood.


Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Florida, is my favourite and I have travelled to many parts of the USA.  I love to travel. I have just returned from Rome and thought it was an amazing place.


What is your favourite pet?

My Cat “Belle”.


What is your passion?

To travel and experience as many different locations as possible.


Which famous person, dead or alive, would you most like to spend a day with?

Barack Obama. I think that he is immensely skilled in public speaking and enjoy listening to him.


Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I am a fully qualified Chef.

I started my law career later in life and prior to entering the profession I worked as a chef for many years.


What’s your favourite lawyer joke?


A rabbi, a Hindu, and a lawyer are in a car that breaks down in the countryside one evening. They walk to a nearby farm and the farmer tells them it’s too late for a tow truck but he has only two extra beds and one of them will have to sleep in the barn. The Hindu says, “I’m humble, I’ll sleep in the barn.” But minutes later he returns and knocks on the door and says, “There is a cow in the barn. It’s against my beliefs to sleep in the same building as a cow.” So the rabbi says, “It’s okay, I’ll sleep in the barn.” But soon, he is back knocking on the door as well, saying, “There is a pig in the barn, and I cannot shelter in a building with a pig.” So the lawyer is forced to sleep in the barn. Shortly, there is another knock on the door and the farmer sighs and answers it. It’s the pig and the cow.


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