Balancing studying with a full-time job – Erica Pearce-Howard

Erica Pearce-Howard, a Graduate member of CILEx, describes her experience as a mature student and how she balanced studying with a full-time job in a key fee-earning role.

Why did you decide to study with CILEx Law School?

I have been working in the legal sector for over 20 years. My first role was a temporary secretary covering everything from conveyancing to criminal to civil litigation and private client.

After a number of years in a secretarial role I progressed to become a fee earner, specialising in private client work. However, it became apparent that I could progress in my career by having a title. The best route which suited my lifestyle/finances was CILEx.

How have your CILEx studies benefitted you in your current role?

I have just been made Head of Private Client, so the next step for me will be as a Partner. I am a Graduate of CILEx and the qualification is acknowledged and recognised by my current firm. One of the partners qualified as a Fellow of CILEx and is aware of the hard work required to gain the qualification. They supported me and encouraged me in my studies which was great.

How have you found balancing working full-time and studying?

It was very hard working full time in a key fee-earning role, relocating in between studies and starting a new job. Also, I cannot deny that being a more mature student (most of those at the various events were at least 20 years younger than me), starting to learn new subjects at the level required after so many years out of school/study was hard.

I wanted to do my best and achieve good results and undoubtedly put pressure on myself. However, having the flexibility of home study, webinars and online support made a big difference as I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I knew what was required and it was down to me to get the results I wanted – which I did!