I’m a Legal Assistant at Silk Family Law and the route I’ve taken into law would be considered non-traditional.
When I started my career, I worked at Newcastle Court for 12 years in the admin office and covered private law, public law, family law and divorce law. I also spent time as a Personal Assistant to the judge who was designated to family law. Whilst there, I was poached by a prominent law firm who wanted me to work for them. With them, I became a family paralegal. I enjoyed my time there, but it was a small firm with little opportunity to progress.
Two years ago, I started with Silk Family Law and I am fortunate to work with one of the partners, Kim Fellowes who is immensely supportive and pushes me to succeed in my law career. Last year, with assistance from Silk, I started a CILEX course.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) is a professional body that offers legal qualifications and is independent of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). CILEX is unique in being a non-graduate route to qualification as a lawyer. It also provides apprenticeships, which gives law graduates a more affordable and viable alternative to the Legal Practice Course (LPC). I didn’t have the opportunity to do a law degree so I am really excited to be able to study in this way now, as I have always loved learning.
My daughter was born when I was 24 and my husband was in the army so we moved around various places and countries. When my little one was 16 months old I became a single parent so I have always had to work hard to support us.
Now, I look after my four-year-old granddaughter full-time which means coursework has to be done late on an evening after a full day’s work and after getting my granddaughter to bed. Yes, it’s hard work but I love it because I know that when I qualify I will become a Chartered Legal Executive and maybe one day I will become a solicitor.
I’m in my 40s so if I can do it anyone can – you’re never too old to follow your dreams.