Natalie Duckett shares her journey from office junior to qualified lawyer

When I left school in 2003 after my GCSEs I contacted various companies concerning a job. I was offered a role at a local law firm as an office junior to cover maternity leave.

As I became more experienced within my job I became more interested in law and this is why I decided to study with CILEX.

As well as studying for my CILEx exams, I was working a 37.5 hour week. Myself and my partner also purchased a house which needed completely renovating. I found this quite hard to balance my time between work, decorating and studying.

I have now completed both my Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and also my Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. I am currently a Graduate Member and will be able to apply to become a Fellow in August of this year. I have decided to continue with my studies and study two further practice units, Employment Practice and Probate Practice to enable me to practise in all three areas.

I am employed by Bartlett Gooding and Weelen as a fee earner specialising mainly in conveyancing.  My qualifications are recognised by my employer and my knowledge which I have obtained during my CILEX studies is used on a daily basis within the work I carry out.

The CILEx qualification is well structured. Level 3 gives you an opportunity to study ten subjects and to decide upon which area you would like to practise in. The people at CILEX Law School are very helpful and so are the tutors. The revision days are very useful and give you a chance to discuss difficult points with other people.

I feel that CILEx offers a great way to obtain a qualification. The qualification is recognised by all law firms and is a great way to progress without the need to attend a college or university. I would strongly recommend the course.