I left school without A Levels and now I’m a qualified lawyer thanks to CILEx

I left school with GCSEs and gained employment in retail. Although I became a manager I felt this did not challenge me enough, and so I took a temporary role as a legal desk clerk in the NHS litigation department, relying on a Level 3 qualification in Text and Word Processing. It was my job to provide information to solicitors for PI and clinical negligence claims. This initiated my interest in law and when my contract with the NHS came to an end I gained a position as a legal secretary when my contract finished. I found out about the CILEx route and enrolled on my first courses at the age of 34, and completed my studies four years later.

I have now also fulfilled my qualifying employment and am a Chartered Legal Executive, working as a fee earner in the family department dealing mainly with divorce and financial settlements. I represent clients in Court at First Directions Appointments and Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings in matrimonial finance. I also do Wills and Probate, and administration of estates.

Now 40, I find it hard to believe I’ve got to where I am in life having left school with GCSEs. I could not have imagined doing the role I am in today 20 years ago. Studying to become a Chartered Legal Executive whille working full time is hard work, but I believe it is worth it and would recommend it to others. But you need drive and commitment to be able to do this. I’m looking forward to having my achievement formally recognised at the Graduation Ceremony.

Josephine Walker, Chartered Legal Executive, CILEx Law School Alumna