Choosing the CILEx route after an LLB – Cheryl England

There’s a video of me when I was about 11 and I said wanted to be a solicitor. My parents had just bought a house and we’d been to the solicitor’s office and I was really interested in it all. However I obviously forgot all about that when I decided to study Media Studies with French at Sussex University.

I eventually remembered my keen interest in conveyancing about four years after uni, so I thought I should pursue a career in law and become a solicitor. I had been working in a financial company doing administration work, but I found a job in a law firm in Bristol. This was an admin job, but it allowed me to experience the law environment. I studied the Graduate Diploma in Law part time at the University West of England and converted my degree to law.

The GDL helped me develop within my role and by the time I finished the course I had become a Senior Case Handler dealing with sale transactions. By the end of the two years studying the GDL I needed a break so decided to hold off taking the LPC. That, and I really couldn’t afford to do it! I thought my law career had come to a dead end, until I heard people at work talking about CILEx. It sounded like a good idea, but I really didn’t want to start a course from scratch again after so much studying already. I therefore researched into it and found that I could take the fast track diploma with my previous qualifications to become a Chartered Legal Executive. This was perfect for me, and much more affordable!

I currently work in a law firm in Bath in their Conveyancing team as a Residential Property Assistant. I have been there thoughout my time studying with CILEx Law School. I have been working full time whilst studying which can sometimes be tricky, but that is why distance learning suited me. I could work at my own pace but within reasonable deadlines. My firm have recently confirmed that they will assist me in my development once I become a Graduate member of CILEx so I am hoping that they will see me through to becoming a Chartered Legal Executive. I have now passed all the exams so it is a question of completing the qualifying employment requirements to become a Fellow.

Whilst studying I have moved house, got married and had a few other things happening in my life. It has been a struggle at times to stay focused, but the staff at CILEx Law School have been very supportive. Distance learning was perfect for me, and although I did manage to fit in the first two practice courses at the same time (and was lucky enough to achieve a distinction in both), it was reassuring to know that I could sit the exams in my own time and when I was ready. I then completed the Client Care Skills unit in the next session.