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Julieann Fitzgerald

Julieann Fitzgerald

Julieann has recently passed her Level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice. Here’s how she found her learning journey.


The bridge between client and the legal system

The law is not scary, but some people find it jargon-heavy and confusing. I’m the bridge between the client and the legal system and I’m good at explaining conveyancing in simple terms. It’s great to hear the penny drop after I’ve explained something to a client, and it makes their day easier.

I’ve always studied on and off. I’m doing an Open University degree in English and History that I pick up whenever I am bored. I’m quite curious and, when I learn something, I want to know more.

I studied with the CLC originally, until they stopped providing their own training. There was a year’s gap before a learning provider was available and I studied with them before I switched to Law Training Centre. There were so many additional resources available on my Law Training Centre online learning page that I had to let go of the idea that I needed to complete every section. I found it easier to pick and choose what parts of the online material were useful for me – I liked the quizzes, but there is a range of materials for different types of learners at Law Training Centre.

Fitting study around work and home

I have a family to take care of, so I studied mostly during my lunch breaks and at the weekend. If I fell behind, I took a day of leave to catch up.

I found the tutor support invaluable. When I got stuck on something and couldn’t progress with my course, my tutors would get back to me straight away. The legal professionals I worked with would happily chat through general points but often their advice would run counter to what the module said because Law as an academic subject can be different from Law in practice. Having said that, working in conveyancing while studying helped solidify my learning.

This was especially true when I studied the Land Law unit, lots of things clicked into place for me. A lot of support work in conveyancing is very formulaic and you do it a certain way because that’s how you’ve been told to do it. Understanding why I did certain things meant that I could work independently and solve problems myself. Studying gave me the opportunity to gain more experience because, once I could show I had that knowledge, I was given more challenging work. Without the knowledge I gained, I wouldn’t have been given that opportunity.


Pushing past expectations

I have never been pushed to achieve; it is just the background I come from. My drive comes from my curiosity and my confidence that I can do anything I put my mind to. I think my family are a little bemused by my need to always keep pushing forward, although my husband and son are supportive and, I think, a little proud of me. I had immense support from Law Training Centre and there is a friendly Facebook group which provides support and encouragement. I did not get a lot of support from my employer who only recognises the qualification of Solicitor and I have switched firms recently in order to progress. Thankfully, most firms now are aware that conveyancing legal professionals come from different specialist legal training backgrounds, and this old-fashioned notion that a solicitor is the only option for property law is being phased out.

What kept me going through the tough times was setting myself little goals and knowing that they would take me to the finish line – it is hard work, but we all have plenty of that in us. I kept thinking, that if I’d been brave and started the course when I first thought about doing it, I would have been four years qualified by now. You will always find a reason to reinforce your own doubts, you just have to listen to your inner cheerleader, they are in there somewhere!

To those thinking about studying now, I’d say go for it. What do you gain by waiting? As you progress, you’ll build on what you learn and get stronger with each module, and there is lots of support. If you are thinking about studying, it is because part of you believes you can do it – your focus on that belief will get you there.


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