Keele alumna lands government role helping society's most vulnerable

Amy Brodie, 25, graduated from Keele with First Class Honours in Law in 2015. Now working for the Department of Health and Social Care, her law career has seen her move all around the country.

I studied Law at Keele (single honours LLB) between 2012-2015 and graduated with First Class Honours. I was a member of both the law and barrister society and in my third year, I was the General Secretary to the Students’ Union. I was also a gateway advisor at the local Citizens Advice Bureau and held a supervisor position for a popular retail brand.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Keele. In my first year, I lived on campus and engrossed myself in the ‘Keele Bubble’, making some brilliant memories and great friends along the way. I knuckled down a bit more in my second and third year. My favourite memory (strangely enough) was always Tuesday morning when there was a coffee/hot chocolate stall outside the Students' Union - the man was so friendly and made the best hot chocolate around! He converted me to white hot chocolates and to this day, I have never been able to purchase one as nice as his. I would go see him, pick up my hot chocolate and meet my friends in the group study area of the library and we would stay there all day when we were not in lectures. We studied, helped each other and laughed all the time.

I’m currently a Policy Lead at the Department of Health and Social Care. I lead the work on improving outcomes for people with neurodiverse conditions and physical disabilities. Previously I was a member of the secretariat team for the Independent Mental Health Act Review where I supported three main areas; international and domestic human rights, learning disability and autism, and interface with the Mental Capacity Act. The review has been a huge policy success - every mainstream political party has agreed to continue with this piece of work and our recommendations to the government and the review team were shortlisted for a policy and evidence award and the prestigious Civil Service Awards 2019. Before that, I led various different mental health work and also worked at the Ministry of Justice as a policy advisor on the Mental Capacity Act. Policy work was supposed to be a stop gap for me, a way to fund the bar professional training course, but I fell in love with my job so I decided not to pursue a strict legal career.

My daily work involves developing policy for the government of the day. I advise Ministers, the Secretary of State and No.10 about the policy I am responsible for. This has included setting the direction of proposed legislation. I engage with a range of stakeholders across government and beyond to help with my policy work, as well as responding to press enquiries, parliamentary questions and any other queries. This has occasionally involved linking up with international counterparts. I can also support the Secretary of State and junior ministers at meetings or events with stakeholders.

I enjoy helping to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society on a macro-scale and I still have to double take when I see some of my work mentioned on the mainstream news!

Keele Law School were dedicated to helping me achieve the best degree possible that would enable me to have the best chances of a successful career. Most of the lecturers always made time to talk me through exam or essay feedback and answered questions I had to make sure I had a real grasp of the subject matter. I made this quite a laborious task sometimes because it could take a while for things to tick into place. In addition, the school were always facilitating or arranging networking events to meet with legal professionals and enquire about their day-to-day life in the job.

I also met with a career advisor at Keele to help me think outside the box with what experiences and job opportunities would help me stand out as a job applicant. In fact, it was this advisor that convinced me to apply for the Ministry of Justice job and helped me prepare for my first graduate interview. If it wasn’t for her considerate guidance and confidence in my abilities when I was unsure about myself then I wouldn’t be where I am today.