I graduated from the University of Sheffield in English Literature and started my working life doing temping jobs in law firms in Sheffield. I was then taken on as a paralegal by one of the firms that I had been temping for, where I heard about the CILEx route and thought this might be a great way of getting a professional qualification. After relocating to Cambridge, I secured a job as a Conveyancing Executive with a well-established local firm, Barr Ellison LLP, who supported me through my course with CILEx Law School (or ITC as it was then).
The qualification took me 4 years to complete by distance learning, and, having now completed the final two years of qualifying employment, I am a fully qualified Chartered Legal Executive at the age of 29.
Becoming a qualified lawyer through CILEx has improved my employment prospects exponentially. I recently moved to Durham where I was able to obtain a position with a reputable local firm Freeman Johnson, and am taking on new cases in readiness for taking over when the current partner in charge of the branch’s Property Department leaves in the coming year.
The CILEx route to becoming a lawyer has given me an in-depth understanding of the area of law I specialise in, together with practical skills to ensure I can offer an efficient and knowledgeable service to clients. The training has given me the confidence to represent clients and also to compete for new work against established solicitors. My job is rewarding on a daily basis, whether helping first-time buyers to purchase their new home, or assisting regular clients to increase their property portfolio.
Helen James, Chartered Legal Executive, CILEx Law School Alumna