|Tasha Peeters completed her CILEx Level 6 qualification, motivated by her determination to change her way of working. What she didn’t realise was just how achieving her goals would transform her self-confidence, putting her back in the driving seat of her career.
My route to CILEx qualification was far from straightforward.
I completed my law degree and throughout that journey I had been very much pushed toward the LPC route, believing that the LPC or the Bar were my only available options. I started my LPC via weekend distance learning. I had been led to believe that the course was designed for people who were working. However, for me this was definitely not the case – especially given that I was already struggling to balance work and home life too.
I got to the stage that I had passed every unit of my LPC bar one. However, I soon realised I just couldn’t continue to struggle with a qualification that wasn’t suited to me. I had to accept that fact and wound up losing the £8,000 that I had spent on the LPC so far. In the process I suffered a huge knock to my confidence – I felt like a failure for not completing it.
I began working in a legal support capacity within a law firm but, despite the fact that I was training some of my more qualified colleagues, I couldn’t help but feel inadequate – constantly watching others progress whilst I was stuck. The continual heartache of working at a level below which I knew I was capable of began to take its toll, so I decided I had to do something about it.
|I reassessed my options and in 2009 I discovered CILEx. If I had known about the CILEx route earlier, I am sure I would never have started the LPC. I spent several years chipping away at the qualification alongside my work and family commitments. However, I was doing this predominantly through self-teaching.
I then discovered Law Training Centre completely by chance whilst on Facebook. I had just one unit of Level 6 to take to complete my CILEx qualification, but I had hit a wall and was struggling, especially with two children to care for.
From just one conversation with the team at Law Training Centre I received the game-changing guidance I needed, with the co-founder himself assessing my background and informing me that other unit options were available to me. I had been working in family law since 2005, yet until that conversation I hadn’t been aware that I could choose to do the ‘Practice of Family Law’ unit instead of the one I was struggling with! That was the real turning point for me.
The online resources, with tutorials and support at my fingertips, were invaluable. As a learner who needs to visualise something to understand it, I benefitted from the lecture slides and videos in particular. The flexibility really worked for me and I don’t think I could have completed the course if it hadn’t been online and able to fit around my family life.
Additionally, the instalment payment option was crucial. At first, I didn’t think I would be able to afford the course, as the competitor prices I had seen were double the Law Training Centre price, but the instalment option gave me the chance to breathe and meet all my financial commitments.
What stuck out to me about Law Training Centre was how the academic tutors genuinely wanted to be teaching me. It was clear that, for them, teaching was more than just a job: they wanted me to succeed and wanted to find the best way for me to achieve my goals. It also really helped that, as they had practical experience working in law, they could also see things from my perspective.
During the first lockdown during the pandemic in 2020 I, along with a number of colleagues, was furloughed. This gave me more time to focus on my studies. I was motivated by the support from my family and the need to finish this journey, to achieve something that would benefit my children’s future.
There were occasions where I was required to meet with Client’s solicitors or their in-house legal counsel, and during and after completing the course, I felt I had something to contribute and could be confident in doing so. It was very empowering. Other modules, such as Conveyancing and Marriages and Civil Partnerships and Succession were interesting too. Hopefully, those are routes I can look into in the future.
In June 2020 I finally sat my exam remotely, and by November I received the life-changing news that I had passed first time! It was a surreal moment when my CILEx Level 6 Diploma came through – after all that time I had finally done it.
Now I feel very much back on track. CILEx wasn’t an easy journey for me and until I contacted Law Training Centre I had felt like I was on my own. However, I can say it was absolutely worth it. It has given me back my confidence and I know that, going forwards, I am in charge of making things happen for me.
Completing the qualification has totally changed my perception of my self-worth. I now focus on my achievements rather than my failures. I have gone from working like a ‘worker’ to working like a ‘boss’, and I now feel empowered to seek the recognition for the work I do. I am billing at a more confident level and the future is exciting again. I am still growing and learning, but I am finding this a lot more straight forward now I have completed the CILEx Level 6 Diploma.
My advice to anyone studying or thinking of studying for a CILEx qualification is to break things down into manageable steps. Take the time to understand the design of the course and the materials provided. I would also encourage everyone to seek the kind of advice and personalised assessment that Law Training Centre gave to me, as it is vital to understand if the course is right for you. You wouldn’t want to waste your time on a course that doesn’t give you the support you need!