Meet our member Laura Elvin!

Name: Laura Elvin
Services offered:
Language combination(s):
French to English
Meldreth, South Cambridgeshire
Contact info:

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

I studied French and Spanish at university but then decided to go to law school. That led to me working as a lawyer in a busy and well-respected Cambridge firm for 18 years, before and after qualification as a solicitor. Much of my work involved handling property transactions for university clients. Later on, I became a professional support lawyer, providing in-house advice to colleagues, creating precedent documents and editing client newsletters. In the end, though, I couldn’t resist the urge to work with languages again and so re-trained as a legal translator about 12 years ago.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

I translate legal documents from French into English. This can cover anything from judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU and decisions of international tribunals to employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, terms and conditions of sale and personal documents such as wills, divorce settlements and powers of attorney.

What makes you stand out?

My years of hands-on experience in legal practice give me a thorough understanding of why legal documents are drafted in the way they are, how transactions are structured and judgments arrived at and, ultimately, what makes lawyers tick!

What do you like most about your job?

I love being able to work with both law and languages. The combination of the two ticks all the intellectual boxes in my brain and I find it immensely satisfying. I also love the fact that no two days are the same and there’s always something new to learn. But more than that, I really appreciate the feeling of camaraderie among translators, both in the East Anglia Network and further afield, who never hesitate to provide help and support when needed. More generally, I love freelance work for the flexibility and work–life balance it offers.

What do you do when you’re not working?

If I’m not walking the dog or doing Pilates, I’ll be singing! For many years I’ve been involved in barbershop singing, a hobby that has taken me all over the UK and even to Honolulu and Las Vegas. I’m also in a pop choir which is a lot of fun. I find singing to be a real tonic and perfect antidote to sitting at a desk for hours.

In addition, I volunteer once a week through a charity called REUK, helping a young refugee with his English and Maths homework, which is very rewarding.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

Despite having grown up in Oxford, I really love Cambridge. There is something special about wandering through the ancient streets and watching the punts on the river, while areas like Mill Road have a great vibe. I also have a soft spot for Ely, where my daughter lives. There’s a fantastic market and of course the cathedral is spectacular. I also enjoy holidays on the North Norfolk coast and especially love seeing the seals at Blakeney Point. But East Anglia is so varied that I know I still have a lot more to explore!