|Sam Griggs, 47, has been a legal secretary for over 20 years. Five years ago, she began a journey that culminated when she became a Licensed Conveyancer. Here is her story.
It’s never too late to start
At age 47, I never thought it would be possible to learn new things. I’m more confident discussing legal matters with my colleagues. I found myself discussing property with my sister-in-law and thought, “Wow! I know what I’m talking about!”
I started work in an estate agency after leaving school and I was always more interested in the legal process of buying and selling a house rather than selling one. I quickly got bored of working in an estate agency and decided to try law. I didn’t have any legal qualifications which meant I went in as a legal secretary.
20 years later, my options to earn more money were either leave or retrain. My firm was very supportive, the managing partner here believes in promoting within the firm. They sponsored most of my CLC Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice course and have given me study leave for taking my exams. I jumped in with Law Training Centre when they became an approved provider.
Making time to study
It wasn’t possible to study during the week, with my job, kids, making dinners and housework, there was not enough time. I mostly studied during the weekends. On a Sunday, I’d put a wash on and study through the wash cycle. I’d break up my study time with 45 minutes of study, then a 15-minute break.
I found the lectures very in-depth. My first module with Law Training Centre was Landlord & Tenant. On our Facebook group, that unit has a reputation for being tough. But I passed it with a high mark! I had fantastic tutor support through that unit. Then came accounts… it was an epic fail. I was so nervous during the exam that I missed out an entire section of the paper. But my tutor called me and helped me calm down. She went through the paper and all the little things I had missed in the questions I did answer and where I could get extra points the next time, I sat the exam. The second time I sat for the exam, I passed with flying colours!
Studying with Law Training Centre fitted around my life. I’m not sure I could have done it any other way. The online tutor and the support are fantastic. Being able to take exams in your own firm is amazing. I used to have to go to London at the crack of dawn, find the exam place – it was all very stressful. I’ve just received my CLC license and have been full time at my firm since October 2019. This means I’ll become a fee earner, my standard of living will go up, I’ll have more income to help my son when he goes to uni. And who knows, when the new SQE comes out, perhaps I’ll train as a solicitor!