|Jack spent months with another training provider trying to beat one exam that baffled her over and over. Finally, with the guidance from Law Training Centre, she passed and has now reached her goal of becoming a Lawyer.
Ever since I watched Quincy M.E. on the television and loved it, I knew I wanted to get into law as they were always catching the ‘bad guy’. I fell into a job that was for a matrimonial secretary position, but I hated it! Most of the job was typing what quarrelling couples had said but it became the same type of scenario day in and day out – “I met him on Saturday, and he said…” “She told me I could have the children on Sunday …” – On and on and on. I only lasted a year in that job, and I knew instantly it was not for me as I am quite nosey!
I then went on to work within the property sector for the same company but in my village. They opened their property branch in 2006 and I jumped at the chance to be relocated.
From the get-go I wanted to be able to say, ‘I’m a lawyer’, but I didn’t think I could be one, as I believed it was out of my league. When I realised the steps needed to become a lawyer were something I could do, I realised it was within my grasp. I decided to pursue studying with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), as at the time it was very affordable. I also looked at the past papers and I thought, “yes, I can do this!”
Choosing the CLC
The CLC route made the most sense for me as I only needed to complete the qualifying work experience which I planned to do alongside my studies. Once I completed my studies, I would have accumulated that time naturally and been able to apply for the Conveyancing License. Because I already knew about the CLC route, I didn’t really consider alternative routes such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX), as they seemed much too complicated for me; the CLC route was the most accessible and cost-effective.
Law Training Centre was not my first CLC qualification provider. When I first started studying the CLC qualification, I picked one of four different providers suggested by the CLC/SQA at the time. I didn’t think it mattered whom I studied with because it was all online, and I assumed that all providers were equal. I was very wrong. The other course provider I was with before I joined Law Training Centre was useless. When I studied with them, I felt like a mouse, constantly running on an exercise wheel – I expended lots of effort and money but got nowhere. It was very depressing, considering I had to study between my full-time job and my responsibilities of caring for my husband who suffers from a health condition.
Enough failure – time to try something new
When I got fed up with failing with the previous provider, I researched other schools and ended up speaking to one of Law Training Centre’s tutors, Steven Murray. My biggest concern was one unit that I kept tripping up on, Landlord and Tenant. I asked Steven, “how many times does it take for people to pass the exam?” and he reassured me that most people pass on their second attempt with Law Training Centre if they must take a second attempt at all.
I already knew the CLC content back to front. I had read the Landlord and Tenant manual 11 times! Before I took up studies with the CLC, I also did a TEFL Diploma in 2010 – my plan of attack was to potentially take a year out and teach abroad but my husband got sick – and I then went on to complete a Level 3 Estate Agent Diploma as a back-up plan! I also studied and passed a Humanities Degree with a French Specialism with The Open University. I would describe myself as an experienced online learner but passing Landlord and Tenant had me twisted up in knots.
In the Landlord and Tenant exam, there are 3 sections, A, B and C. And you must pass all three sections to pass the exam. I passed B and C but was always stuck on section A. It didn’t seem to matter how much knowledge about the topic I had, passing that knowledge onto an exam paper eluded me and the previous advice given was merely to “expand” on my answers! I’ve mentioned already how my previous provider was useless at supporting me. But when I joined Law Training Centre, along with my tutor’s guidance and reassurance, I understood what the exam wanted from me and how to expand my answers properly. Once that clicked for me, on my second attempt as promised, I passed!
The relief of passing
When I received an email confirming that I had passed I jumped up and down, cried, video chatted with my mother, checked my email six times just to make sure that I passed, told all my family, checked my email again, told my friends, checked my email once more and then told the world! I started studying for the CLC diplomas in 2015. I left my previous provider in October of 2021 and joined the Law Training Centre thereafter. I fully completed my SQA/CLC Level 6 Diploma Conveyancing Law and Practice in January 2022.
In terms of my study schedule, I studied one hour in the morning before work, one hour at lunchtime during workdays sitting at my desk at work and two hours in the evening. Saturday and Sunday, I would study for around five hours each morning. This totalled to around 30 hours a week, alongside working full-time and caring for my husband! I had to do it though, I was running on pure adrenaline by this stage because I was under pressure to complete within a certain time limit. And I wasn’t about to give up too. It was my husband who told me not to give up and finish the unit that was holding me back – I also used Nelson Mandela as inspiration due to his aptitude for Law studies.
I found the two things that were most helpful to me about Law Training Centre’s course was the ability to do online mock exams and the tutor support. Between exams, I emailed my tutor a lot and always received a quick and cohesive reply. My tutor went above and beyond to help me. He answered every query I had, and he was very helpful. I also found the flashcards and quizzes very helpful too. I printed them out and would go through them at home in my own time.
Making time to study
Because of my tight schedule with work and home life, studying online was crucial. Studying at my pace has meant that I could progress in my own time, slipping studies between the gaps of a hectic life. For example, in my lunch break at work, I could simply log on to my eLearning area and study at the flip of a switch. If I had gone the traditional route, it would have taken too much time and effort.
Now that I’ve completed my studies, I am in the process of becoming licensed with the CLC. It’s amazing how far I’ve come, from a Secretary to a Lawyer. Now that I look back at my career and the industry, I can see how much it’s changed. Everything used to be on paper and now it’s digital. I’ve achieved my goal, but for now I want to take stock and see where I go from here. It’s been a long journey and I want to take time for myself and give room for self-realisation. Now that I’m not studying 30 hours a week, I can focus on things like gardening and fixing my house up.
When you’re an online learner, you must have self-belief. You must also have the capacity to keep striving for what you want and ignore the people who tell you that you can’t do it, because external factors can play a part. If something is not working for you, think outside of the box and try to find out what that might be. For me, it was my previous provider. I scored an average of 48/100 with them on my exams, but with the Law Training Centre, I scored 78/100! That shows I knew my stuff, however, knowing wasn’t the problem, it was having the skills to pass the exam. Once I was pointed in the right direction on how to structure my exam replies, it clicked.
If you are thinking about pursuing a career in Law or studying the CLC qualification I’d say, make sure it’s something you really want to do because it’s a field that is ever-changing. It has to be something you love doing. I love looking at houses and being nosey. I’m a bit of a detective and I like organising things and finding out information on things like an unregistered property etc., I love that side of it.
Finally, I want to thank my employers for helping me to take my exams in the workplace, my husband for helping me read some of the text at home to help me revise, and everyone at Law Training Centre for helping make my dream a reality. Without your guidance and support, it would not have been possible. I can now see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.