My route to becoming a lawyer

My route to becoming a lawyer

I had the opportunity recently to spend some time at a local school answering questions about my career path. The idea was created by the Worktree Charity to encourage youngsters to have a think about their futures. The age group that I sat with was Year 11 so 15 and 16 year old students.  Some of them had an idea of what they want to do when they leave school, others have no idea at all.

The students were divided into groups of three, and there were eight adults from varying professions from a psychometric tester to a health care worker, so plenty of variety. The idea was that the students ask questions and become used to speaking to people they do not know anything about. We were given seven minutes with each group – not very long for inquisitive teenagers!  They had to keep their questions fairly concise which is all good practice for getting the best value out of someone’s time.

The main question that the students asked me was if I had always been interested in law.  I replied honestly and told them that, despite my school’s careers advisor suggesting that I should be a quantity surveyor, I was adamant that I was going into the banking industry straight from school which I was lucky enough to do. Mind you, jobs were more plentiful back then! 

The children were fascinated to be told that I left the banking industry when I had my children and became a special needs teacher. Once my children were a little older, I decided to become a lawyer and to do this through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives’ training as this enabled me to earn whilst I learned.  I studied in the evenings and weekends whilst working during the week. I will admit that it was hard work and I sometimes felt like giving up, but my family supported me to carry on and I became a graduate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) in 2007 specialising in Family Law.

Several of the students told me that they really did not fancy the idea of going to University due to the cost.  I told them that there are other options that can be considered instead of full time university; for example, part time courses paid for by the learner or, sometimes, the employer might pay the costs if they believe the learner is serious and competent about gaining a qualification and that they will be of benefit to the company.  There are also apprenticeships.  Some of the students may not wish to study having spent years at school and, of course, that is perfectly fine for them. Everyone is an individual and should be treated as such.

Of course, the traditional method of becoming a lawyer is university, then either the LPC and a two-year training contract for solicitors, or the Bar Vocational Course and a year of pupillage for barristers.  For me and my lifestyle, the CILEx route was appropriate for me at the time.

As I mentioned above, my specialism is Family Law. This deals with the unfortunate breakdown in relationships. I also deal with issues surrounding children i.e. who are they going to live with, when will they see the absent parent and other problems that might arise.

I offer an hourly rate and fixed fees which I can provide on request. If you need legal advice concerning your own divorce or separation contact me on 01908 325555 or by