Studying with CLS has allowed me to become a fee-earner 

Graduate Member Charlotte Baughan has found studying with CILEx Law School such a positive experience that she is now looking to cross-qualify as a tutor and teach future generations of CILEx students. 

How did you get involved in the legal profession? 

As I did not want to follow the traditional route to becoming a solicitor, I had thought that I would not be able to enter the legal profession at all at fee-earning level. So many people don’t enter the profession because they can’t attend university – or choose to stay as paralegals. The traditional solicitor training route is now inaccessible to many. 

That’s why it is so important that more people who are interested in a career in law are aware of CILEx Law School and the CILEx route and what they offer.  

I enrolled with CILEx Law School to study for my Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice and I am now a Graduate Member of CILEx.  

My interest in law began when I studied criminal law at A-level, and I then progressed on to doing a legal secretarial qualification. The lady who taught the legal part of that was a barrister who had moved into teaching. She suggested Level 3 ILEx as it was then, and I have never looked back.  

What are you doing now? 

My first role was as a Commercial Property Legal Secretary, and I am currently employed within the Residential Conveyancing Department of Mercers Solicitors, in Henley-on-Thames. 

I joined Mercers in 2014 and I currently carry out all the post exchange work for the residential transactions in the property department. Due to maternity leave requirements within the department, I am currently also getting involved in more pre-exchange matters and have a small caseload that I run from beginning to end under the supervision of a senior solicitor in the department.  

How did you combine working and studying?  

I am a disciplined person so I found that allocating a dedicated slot each day when I got home from work allowed me to chip away at each module gradually. It was at points tiring but having the end goal in sight kept me motivated.  

I tried to have weekends to myself apart from during the run-up to exams. The past papers were a huge help to me.  

What are your career intentions? 

I would like to step up to having a full caseload of my own as a Graduate Member of CILEx and begin compiling my portfolio of qualifying work experience. I hope eventually to become senior within the department.  

I would also like to explore in the future the opportunity of working with CILEx Law School to help others fulfil their potential via the CILEx route 

I am looking to enrol onto a BTEC Award in Education and Training course, which will hopefully allow me to become a tutor and assist CLS students in the future.