Ever since I was young I wanted a career in law and studied Law at A Level before going on to do a degree in Law with Criminology at Southampton Solent University.
After graduating in 2006 I was fortunate to obtain employment within a Hampshire law firm, Kings Legal LLP, as a paralegal in the mortgage lender recoveries department. Having heard of the CILEx route through colleagues I decided to look into this further and started my studies in 2008. This route into law appealed greatly as I could remain at work while continuing my studies. At the time I started my studies, the Graduate Fast-track Diploma for law graduates was not available and so I continued studying through Level 3 and Level 6, although my degree meant that I didn’t have to duplicate units which I had already studied.
During my period of study I switched to a different law firm, Moore Blatch LLP, where I was employed as a Paralegal in their Professional Negligence Department. My first child was born in 2010, but studying by distance learning through CILEx Law School (then ITC) meant that I was able to support my partner while continuing to work towards my qualification, by fitting in my studies around the commitments of family life.
In the middle of 2011 I was invited by my employer to manage the Debt Recovery and Asset Team, where I have remained since, helping the department to expand both in terms of turnover and client numbers. At the time I was appointed as head of department I had completed most of the academic element of my CILEx qualification and was well on my way to complying with the period of qualifying employment to become a Chartered Legal Executive. Even at that stage I think I had more experience and knowledge than colleagues who were recently qualified solicitors, which played no small part in my selection for the role.
CILEx has given me the opportunity to achieve a career which I have always aspired to. It is by no means an easy option and requires determination and commitment as well as support from your family and employers to overcome the many hurdles along the way before reaching the final goal. I wouldn’t have chosen to undertake my legal studies in any other way. I have now qualified as a Fellow of CILEx – a Chartered Legal Executive – and look forward to attending the Ceremony this week.
Peter Worrall – CILEx Law School Alumnus, Chartered Legal Executive, Moore Blatch Solicitors