Building on a career as a legal secretary – Lisa Hutcheson

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

I started working in a law firm at 17 years old and did my RSA Secretarial Diploma. I have always wanted to develop my career and I am now lucky to work for a firm who is a fantastic investor in people and they offered me the chance to fulfil my dream by sponsoring me through the CILEx qualification. I started my CILEx Level 3 courses two years ago when I was 28.

I had a friend who studied it a long time ago and said that the CILEx route was a fantastic way to become a fee earner and it was a more relaxed way to study as opposed to doing a full-on law degree, in that you can do it in your own time, take as many or as few exams in one sitting as you like.

I work full time but am lucky that I have a husband who understands my dream of becoming a qualified lawyer and he actually helps me revise. In fact, he’s now thinking of doing CILEx himself through showing an interest in what I have been doing for the last two years!

I currently work as PA to a senior partner. I don’t do any fee earning at the moment but I hope that when I finish my Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice I will be able to undertake the role of a paralegal and take on more fee earner work.

I would definitely recommend the CILEx route to anyone who doesn’t have the time to commit to doing a full law degree. It’s a fantastic way of gaining a legal qualification and progressing your career steadily and at your own pace.