My Legal Life

14 September 2022

When I was finishing college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had studied law which had interested me, and I had finished college with a BTEC in Business and Administration at a grade where I could happily go off to university. However, this had never really appealed to me, and I wanted to work and start gaining experience.

I then came across a Business and Administration Apprenticeship with Battens, and I immediately applied so I would be able to see what working for a law firm was like from the inside.

I carried out the first year of my apprenticeship moving around between all the different support departments within Battens which was very enjoyable. From being on reception and sorting post to working with the marketing department or assisting a legal team with admin tasks and typing.

One day I was pulled into a meeting with the CEO who explained that a trainee solicitor was moving seats in the Residential Property department, and they needed someone to join the team to take on some of the assistant work.

I therefore completed my apprenticeship assisting the fee earners within a Conveyancing Assistant role. Once I finished my apprenticeship, I was offered a permanent job as a Conveyancing Assistant.

Before too long I was being encouraged by my team leader to consider the route of CILEx to gain a legal qualification. I was enjoying the work so it seemed like an easy decision as I could carry on with my job and study in the evening and weekends. I completed it in June 2022. From start to finish it has taken me 6.5 years to complete with a bit of a break in between for a wedding and house purchase!

Completing the CILEx qualification was far from easy,as there were times when I lacked motivation, but it was worth it in the end.

You must be committed to be able to study outside of working hours. In the months before exams myself and my colleague (who was also studying at the time) saw more of each other than we did our partners! We would eat three meals a day together in the office, complete a study session before work, at lunch and in the evenings, as late as we could push ourselves. The office became my second home – my colleagues used to see me with my slippers on, armed with highlighters and head in a book quite regularly.

Looking back on it know I would still do it again. I have been so lucky to have been given the opportunity to study and work at the same time. I have been able to gain invaluable experience in the area of law that I practice now, and I just wouldn’t have got that if I had gone to university.

I know all sorts of people from all ages and backgrounds that have completed the qualification, some studying around having children others sitting multiple exams at a time and qualifying quickly. It really is a route that can work around your lifestyle, and I am so thankful to Battens for giving me the push I needed to undertake it.

Now I still work in the Residential Property team, I have my own caseload and clients who have already come back to use me again when they are on the move. So if you are looking for a career in law but are unsure whether to go to University or you are already working within the legal sector and want to qualify I would recommend you considering the CILEx route.