IT manager’s legal studies opened up a complete change of career

John Hancock initially enrolled on a Contract Law course to help him better understand his role as a bid manager for an IT firm. That sparked his interest in the law in general, and he has recently become a Graduate Member of CILEx (GCILExafter completing his CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice 

How have your studies helped your career?

I initially enrolled on a single CILEx Level 3 course in Contract Law aimed at supporting my job as a bid/contract manager with an IT firm – but it has resulted in a complete change of career.

On completing that course, I decided to continue with the units I needed towards the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice as I had enjoyed the subject matter and found that I had a genuine interest in law. As my studies progressed through Level 3, one of the solicitors left the company, allowing me to switch into the legal department. Then, as I got to the end of my Level 3 Professional Diploma, the senior solicitor left and I became responsible for the whole legal function for the company, with support from external law firms and our parent company’s general legal counsel. I have continued my studies and have now completed my CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice, to become a Graduate Member of CILEx.

My focus is on company and contract law although I am also the data protection officer for the company. I deal with a wide variety of contracts including customer, supplier, sub-contractor, reseller and property leases. I am also responsible for the management systems for risk, information security, quality and business continuity. The management systems are generally about compliance with international standards and legal training supports me in this aspect of my work. I also assist with health and safety legislation, particularly where interpretation is required.

How have you found studying by distance learning with CILEx Law School?

For those who are interested in law, studying with CILEx Law School is very flexible and can be done around a full-time job and family life. Students can work at their own pace and study the modules in the order that best suits them. Although exam dates are fixed, the student can decide which exam series they wish to enter.

Although it is distance learning, I didn’t feel alone as there was great support from the CILEx Law School team and from other students via the excellent student forums. I would definitely recommend studying through CILEx Law School.

What resources did you find most useful?

The resources provided are all very useful – course manual, revision guide, study exercises, student forums and mock exams. The most positive experience by far has been the revision sessions. All of the tutors were very knowledgeable, not just about the topic but also about the techniques that help pass exams. When I couldn’t get to my nearest location because of other commitments, I travelled to one of the other locations.

What are your future career/study intentions?

My career intentions have changed since I started my studies. I now want to become a Fellow of CILEx (FCILEx) and pursue a legal career. I hope that career is with the company that I have been at since 1996. My current focus is therefore on completing my qualifying experience and work-based learning.