Working in an in-house legal department – Charlotte Burnham

I first became interested in law when I was employed in the credit control department of a large construction and refrigeration company and was working closely with the company lawyer in respect of resolving commercial disputes.

During this time I learnt about the payment notice process that had come into effect with the amendments to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act. I found it really interesting and when a new internal position was advertised for a trainee paralegal I immediately applied. I was successful in my application and started in the legal and commercial department shortly afterwards.

Following on from new position I was asked by the company to begin studying for the CILEx qualification as it was identified by my manager as being the most appropriate qualification for the role. I was 30 years old when I began studying and had previously gained a Level 5 Diploma from the Institute of Credit Management.

I am employed full time and so it is difficult sometimes to juggle work with home life and studying at the same time. I also had a wedding to plan during the first year of studying!

My employers recognise my CILEx qualifications and are paying for my studies. I received a promotion to paralegal following completion of the Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice. Since then I have been promoted again to contracting support manager, and deal with all matters relating to commercial contracts.

I have really enjoyed studying with CILEx Law School I find the study materials really clear and easy to study. I think the study exercises are really beneficial as having to prepare the answers to these questions really prepares you for the exam. I also think the revision sessions are invaluable and I always come away from them feeling more confident about the exams.

I would definitely recommend the CILEx route to other people thinking about getting into the legal sector. It is so much better being able to study at my own pace and being flexible as to when I can fit the studying into my private life. The CILEx route is also so much less expensive compared to a law degree and I think that this opens the doors to a lot more people and having a recognised qualification at the end of it is invaluable when applying for new roles. I am looking forward to completing the Level 3 Diploma this summer and then going on to study the Level 6 qualification.