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Sophie Wallace

Sophie Wallace – from the post room to associate!

Sophie Wallace knew she wanted to focus on a career in law. After switching her degree in university, she applied for any available role in a law firm. That same attitude and ambition would later help her land her dream job at a prestigious law firm in Kent. Here is her story.

I remember my first job in the legal profession, I delivered the post in the morning and collected it in the evening. It was a very social job, I got to know everyone!

I was always interested in law, but at university, I initially started studying English Literature. I then chose to repeat my first year as a law student instead. I switched to law because I knew I wanted to go into this profession when I graduated. When I graduated from university, I applied to every job that I could in a law firm. My perseverance paid off and I eventually got an administration job which involved delivering the post.

The more I worked as an administrator in a law firm, the more frustrated I became. I was so close to the job I wanted but I just didn’t quite have it yet. I decided to fund and study a legal secretary course. It was that qualification that helped me land a legal secretary job at my firm, covering maternity leave for a colleague.

I stumbled across the CILEx Graduate Fast Track Diploma (GFTD) almost accidentally when I was discussing the legal secretarial course with CILEx. They asked me why I wasn’t studying the CILEx GFTD and then they told me all about it. I signed up with Law Training Centre as a colleague where I worked was studying through them already and had recommended them. I quickly got into a routine with the flexible study that’s a core part of Law Training Centre courses.

If I hadn’t had the option to study CILEx, I don’t know how I would have achieved my goals. The LPC (Legal Practice Course) was an option, but the results of that are so uncertain and it’s very expensive.

Once I completed the Graduate Fast Track Diploma, I again applied for every job I could. A job at Brachers came up and it was my dream job. They advertised for a legal executive and at that stage, my experience had involved secretarial work in Private Client. I still applied and asked if they would consider training someone in the role and that I was available if they were willing.

They gave me a chance! Brachers gave me the role of “Private Client Executive”.

The closer I get to becoming qualified, the more relaxed and less anxious I am about it. The CILEx GFTD made me better at my job as it helped me anticipate what I needed to do next. This made me more useful and effective in my role. What I’ve learned has also made me more confident in my work as a fee earner. It also gave me direction, the more I learned, the more I knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve.

At my firm, I run my own caseload and assist my direct supervisor, a partner in Private Client.

To anyone thinking about studying CILEx, I’d recommend talking to someone with knowledge of it. They can help explain the qualification and help you to make an informed decision. Studying the secretarial course was helpful for me, it helped me kick start my legal career. I had no idea the CILEx Graduate Fast Track Diploma existed until that accidental conversation and I haven’t looked back. Law Training Centre helped me get on the course I needed very quickly and put everything in place for me so I could start with my studies as soon as possible. Affordable payment plans with Law Training Centre also helped me start my CILEx qualification. I wish I had spoken to Law Training Centre sooner!

My advice if you’re thinking of starting a career in law is keep going. It’s hard, and it feels like it will take forever, but if you accept all the support you’re offered, you can get there.


UPDATE: As of April 2024, Sophie has been promoted to Associate at Tassells LLP! The entire Law Training Centre team sends Sophie their congratulations.


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