Building on a career as a legal secretary – Jessica Weeks

Many students enrol on CILEx courses after working as a legal secretary for a number of years.

I got into law when I applied for a secretarial post at a law firm in Somerset. I was fresh out of college after having done a Level 2 secretarial NVQ. I’ve always worked as a legal secretary and am now a legal PA to a firm of tax advisers.

I heard about the CILEx route from a friend I worked with at my first law firm, who was herself studying to become a Chartered Legal Executive. I was 34 when I started studying for the CILEx exams. Since my daughter was born I have felt a great need to be able to provide for her future, and CILEx is giving me the opportunity to do just that, together with the chance of me being able to finally use my brains, get qualified and secure a good job which will hopefully bring me job satisfaction as well as financial security.

Unfortunately my current employer cannot use my qualifications in any way, but I am hopeful to find a new job in the future once I have achieved the full CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice.

I find the CILEx courses challenging and more time consuming than I originally anticipated, but the help which I receive from the CILEx Law School is extremely useful. I have telephoned the Academic Helpline and had a very informative and helpful chat with a lady there, and there is always someone on the student forum to point me in the right direction and answer, clearly and concisely, any queries I have.

Although I am studying by distance learning, I do not feel like I am out on a limb without support.

I find the CILEx route perfect for me. I have a lot of time commitments and I need the flexibility of CILEx in order to juggle my family life, work life and study life. There are only so many hours in the day! I would highly recommend it to others.