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Case Studies

Legal Secretary Case Studies

Emma Pearson-Winstone
Mills & Reeve LLP

Emma Pearson-Winstone

I started my CILEx career by taking the Paralegal course whilst working for the High Court Enforcement Office. It gave me a real flavour for law and soon after completion I began working as a trainee legal secretary at Mills & Reeve. I completed the CILEx Legal Secretaries course, and quickly progressed to a fully-fledged legal secretary. I knew at this point I wanted to be more involved and I started the CILEx Level 3 diploma.

The supervising partner of my team knew I was completing the course and gave me a trial run as a paralegal alongside my legal secretary duties – the first paralegal within my team. Thankfully, it worked well and I was later interviewed for a trainee paralegal position within the team. I continued with my studies at Level 6 and, after a year, was promoted to a fully-fledged paralegal. At this point my employer also started assisting with the cost of the course – a real bonus!

The team now has three full time paralegals and I am the first to graduate from CILEx. The rest will hopefully join me soon!

Daniel Nicholas
Slater & Gordon Lawyers

Daniel Nicholas

I started studying for my CILEx qualifications when I worked for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). I was encouraged by judicial colleagues to begin my legal training. CILEx was the ideal path as it allowed me to study part-time and work full-time to pay my own fees.

My CILEx qualifications enabled me to obtain a job as a fee earner at Slater & Gordon Lawyers, without previous experience in a law firm. My qualifications and CILEx membership have allowed me to develop in an area of law which I have a strong commitment to, find incredibly interesting and thoroughly enjoy.

I enjoy a great variety in my role and CILEx has given me the opportunity to do what I had envisioned from day one which is to help members of the public who need legal advice and assistance.

Now with the ever increasing opportunities available to CILEx members, I see that the decision I made to study law with CILEx was one of the best of my life. 

I was awarded the 2013 CILEx Student of the Year, I was very humbled and proud to receive this award. It shows that hard work and perseverance really does pay off!

Leeanne Worsey
Legal Assistant
Fussell Wright Solicitors

I left school with little qualifications and had my first son at 17. I was unemployed for many years and struggled being a young parent. I knew I wanted to study law for a long time so decided I needed to obtain qualifications to pursue a career. I enrolled with CILEx to achieve this while my children were young.

For a long time I struggled to get work in a law firm due to lack of experience. However, after receiving my Level 3 exam results I got a job at a solicitors firm in the accounts department. The firm couldn’t offer me any other work than accounts so I began looking for work again and am now a Legal Assistant.

CILEx has played a huge part in my life, it helped me obtain my current job. If I hadn’t studied with CILEx I feel I would have struggled to get my foot in the door.

I hope my story shows that anything is possible with ambition, it hasn’t been easy. I studied with 3 young children, worked during the day, and still got there eventually!