Getting in to a law firm at the ground floor – Richard Branson

My first job in law was as a legal administrator for a small firm specialising in employment law. After spending two years studying psychology at university, I had decided it was not a discipline I wished to dedicate my career to and so postponed my education whilst I carefully considered what I wanted to do. Finally, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to study law!

I sought out an administration role so as to garner some valuable practical experience before commencing any studies. Through a colleague, I became aware of CILEx and the option to be able to continue to work full time – and thus not have to worry about any loss of income whilst studying – was of a huge appeal to me. I was also extremely fortunate in that my employer at the time agreed to pay for the course fees.

I now work for Addleshaw Goddard LLP as a paralegal in the employment department and am being sponsored through the CILEx qualification by my employer. I moved here during the second year of studying the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, having successfully completed the Level 3 Certificate.

Studying for CILEx exams whilst working full time has been very challenging and has required a substantial commitment on my part. However, it has simultaneously been one of the most rewarding experiences of my short working life. The ability to fully understand how my studies will benefit my performance at work has been a great motivator throughout the course so far. As a direct result of my successful progression through the course, I have already been given more responsibility at work and am now a fee earner on some files.

I have now enrolled on the first of my Level 6 units for the CILEx Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice and hope to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive in due course.