Q&A with Dr Tara Chittenden

Dr Tara Chittenden is a research officer at the Law Society.

Tara Chittenden1. How long have you worked at the Law Society?

Well, LinkedIn have made this no secret... it’s 16 years (yikes!)

2. Tell us about the picture you chose?

I come from an art education background; my first degree was Fine Art: Sculpture. This picture was taken in a foundry where I worked after my degree, pouring bronze and aluminum for my own and clients’ work. Art and a sense of experiment remain important for me.

3. How do you think your role helps the Law Society reach its goals?

I conduct research and monitor changes that are shaping the environment in which our members work, especially in relation to technology. Findings help inform our thinking and how we conceive our support of members.

4. What are you working on at the moment?

I’m planning a project to map the market for, and the adoption of, legaltech. Also, horizon scanning for emerging signals of change and watching the ‘big’ issues around future skills/roles and innovation in business models.

(But I love our building, and I’ve been here long enough not to get lost; that said I’m more likely to email you than pitch up at your desk).

5. What’s your most memorable moment so far?

This question brought back so many happy travel memories, I might try to ask myself this once a week. Riding camels in the Sahara, playing guitar in a small bar on Beale Street in Memphis, cruising the waterways of Bangkok… (with hindsight I might have interpreted the question too broadly).

6. Where did you work before the Law Society?

At the British Museum, and before that as assistant curator at Torquay Museum.

7. Share some great advice you've been given.

‘Listen’ (and ‘take your shoes off’ which has been applicable in a surprising number of situations).

8. What's in your desk drawers?

Shoes, a hammer, ceramic glazes, old kodak slides, toothbrush/paste, CDs, lots of paperwork, mints, a plug, an apron. All life’s essentials, I guess.

9. Can you recommend a local lunch or coffee spot?

I’m not really a lunch person, I usually have a banana and pot of Skyr to hand from Tesco (sorry local restaurant community). Steady stream of caffeine, though: Starbucks, Pret, Eat, National Gallery café, all of them.

10. How do you relax?

All things art – drawing, printmaking, sculpting, visiting galleries; also, films, photography, travel (at every opportunity) and a decent pint of craft beer or three.

11. What's your pet hate?

People walking along with headphones in and staring at phone screens, being oblivious to everyone else sharing space with them. Also, a general lack of consideration for others that seems to permeate public spaces.