A second chance to build a professional career – Jennifer Noble

Law was always something I was interested right from the off, however during a careers events at school the advisor told me I wasn’t smart enough. As a result of this blow I didn’t pursue this career at that time, however after working in various jobs I decided to enrol on a law degree as a mature student.

I did really well at university and was on course for a 2:1 but due to family/financial reasons I wasn’t able to finish my degree and had to start working full time. I got a job with Minster Law, and my manager at the time had studied CILEx. I was intrigued by the route he had taken and asked him about it.

My firm was prepared to support me in my studies so I enrolled on courses for the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice. The subjects I had passed in my first two years of university meant I was able to apply for a number of exemptions, so it didn’t feel like I’d wasted those years. I’m now studying my Level 6 courses. I think if I’d been told about CILEx back at school I’d have taken it up there and then.

I currently have two jobs and have a hectic social life, so fitting in studying as well has taken a lot of organisation, but CILEx is flexible enough that if I’m really busy one week then I can roll work over to another week and it never feels an unachievable amount of work.

I’m now a fee earner for Minster Law Solicitors. I am soon to start a new role within our Multi Track department and I think working towards my CILEx qualifications and showing I’m dedicated to studying in my own time helped secure my new role. My employers are paying for CILEx, and they also allow us time off for study leave and are very supportive.

I couldn’t rate the help and support CILEx Law School’s Customer Service Team highly enough. I’ve had a few turbulent years during which I’ve not been able to sit my exams at the last minute due to sickness, car accidents and family illness and they have been so accommodating.

I think CILEx is a fantastic opportunity and would recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue a legal career. I’ve seen a number of my friends who have taken the traditional route of studying for their law degree and LPC but have then struggled to get a training contract. It means that I will qualify before them and financially I am not left paying a professional development loan. I think more schools, colleges and universities should promote CILEx.