Success in the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma gives mid-life career boost to Melinda Knowles

CILEx Law School student Melinda Knowles tells us what her recent exam success has meant for her:

“At the age of 46, I thought I had long since finished my studies – I already hold a BA in History and Sociology from a university in Texas, and, more recently, a BA in Law and Criminology from Sheffield Hallam University.

However my manager at Shakespeares Legal LLP recommended that I study for a CILEx qualifications to help me progress from my legal secretarial role and to make me more marketable externally. I work in the private client department for Shakespeares, and they have a good track record of promoting internally. I discovered that my BA in Law and Criminology entitled me to enrol on the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma route to qualification, rather than having to do the full set of CILEx exams at both Level 3 and Level 6.

I was quite lucky in that I was able to take advantage of my day to day work in administration of estates when studying for the Probate Practice unit, and I also have regular contact with the conveyancing department at work, so I had a taste of that side of things before sitting the Conveyancing exam in June. I have also passed the Client Care Skills unit, so just need to complete my qualifying employment in order to become a Chartered Legal Executive.

I am now a fee earner at work and as a result of my CILEx studies I am currently in the mentoring programme to become an Associate with the firm within the next few years. Fingers crossed!”