I graduated in Law from John Moores University in 2004 and began working as a graduate clerk while looking for a training contract. I always seemed to just miss out on being offered a contract and in the meantime I got work as a graduate clerk before taking up a post as a paralegal with Weightmans LLP in 2008.
When I arrived there I discovered that some of my colleagues were in the process of their CILEx training. Although I had heard of ‘Legal Executives’ before then, I was unaware how to gain this status and I was keen to learn more. I was delighted when my employer encouraged me to apply for the course with CILEx Law School (then ITC) and agreed to pay 50% of my course fees for the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma.
CILEx recognised that my previous work experience contributed to my qualifying employment and I qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2012 and will be attending the Graduation Ceremony this week.
When I started my CILEx training I was running my own caseload as I had already had a number of years’ practical experience, but I wasn’t receiving the same recognition or remuneration as my solicitor colleagues, who were managing similar files. Now that I have finished my training, my status as a qualified lawyer is fully recognised by Weightmans, where I am now working as a Chartered Legal Executive in the Defendant Road Traffic Accident Fraud department.
I wish I had been aware of qualifying via CILEx much earlier and I have encouraged numerous people to take this route in to Law.
Rachel Oldham, Chartered Legal Executive, CILEx Law School Alumna