Using CILEx to develop a career in your 30s and 40s – Caroline Selley

I worked as a receptionist for a local firm of solicitors as my first job after leaving school. I loved the job and soon became a legal secretary within the firm. After a few years of working for different firms and working in different fields of the law I had caught the bug!

I studied a preliminary certificate in legal studies and would have liked to start studying for my CILEx qualifications at that stage but wasn’t able to due to then having a small child and caring for my father who was seriously ill.

I began my CILEx studies again at the age of 37. I started with the Level 2 Certificate, as some years had passed since I had studied. When I was ready to progress to Level 3 one of my biggest concerns was whether I could actually do it. I am a single mum and have a full time job. I was concerned whether I could find the time and motivation but I think the biggest factor was whether I could actually get through the exams! I wasn’t able to go to college or university so distance learning was my only option. This seemed really daunting, however the staff at CILEx Law School could not have been more helpful and supportive.

Although I am studying through distance learning it has never felt like that. CILEx Law School has supported me every step of the way. Even when I have telephoned with what I felt was a stupid question I was never made to feel that way and a friendly helpful team member would deal with my concern. The resources available such as the forum, induction/revision days helped me successfully plan my studies and are invaluable and definitely a key to successful studies.

I have am now close to completing my Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice.

I have a new job with a firm of solicitors as an assistant to a partner in criminal defence. My firm said my qualifications made me stand out from the other candidates and they were keen to take someone on with a view to progressing their role through studying into a fee-earning position.

CILEx has definitely changed who I am. I am now a lot more confident both in myself and, also having the qualifications behind me, my career possibilities. I feel I have achieved so much. I have even made a couple of fantastic friends who I met on the revision days. I have really enjoyed the course and am looking forward to beginning my level 6 later this year.

If someone said to me they wanted to study law and wasn’t sure which route to take I would highly recommend CILEx. It is one of the best things I have ever done. If I could do it all again and had the opportunity to go to university I would still choose the CILEx route not only for the cost element but also the whole CILEx experience.