On the 25th January 2019, Naomi Connor, became a fully fledged Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)! This prestigious qualification is bestowed to people who have completed CILEx’s full lawyer training which is set and assessed at honours degree level and awarded after a period of qualifying employment.
In a time when many people believe you can only be successful by going to university, Naomi, has taken an alternative route to qualifying as a lawyer. She studied the part-time course whilst also working full-time at Scott Rees & Co Solicitors.
Naomi, originally from Skelmersdale, never initially considered a career in law. She attended Winstanley College in Billinge where she left with 3 A-levels in English and Philosophy.
After a short stint working as a Customer Service Assistant for a local betting shop, she joined Scott Rees & Co Solicitors in April 2010 as a Filing Clerk. It was here that she first became aware of the CILEx route to becoming a lawyer and discovered how she could play an important part in utilising the law to help people who had found themselves injured or had suffered adverse consequences through no fault of their own.
“I take great pride in my profession and in having gained the skills and knowledge required to secure compensation for innocent people who have been adversely affected by somebody else’s negligence”.
“Scott Rees and Co are a firm that is heavily geared towards the career advancement and personal development of their employees. I am very grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from them whilst studying”.
“I would certainly recommend going down the CILEx route to anyone who wants to be a lawyer but doesn’t necessarily feel the university route is for them. The qualification encourages part-time study alongside full-time employment which means you get to ‘earn while you learn’. An added bonus is that you gain lots of essential, practical experience whilst studying”.
With a few breaks in between, it has taken Naomi around 6 years to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive.
“Ultimately it is down to you, it takes personal commitment and drive to complete the qualification. It was certainly difficult to balance a full-time job and part-time study, but it makes it easier if you have a supportive network around you. I have had invaluable support from my parents, and especially my husband who qualified via the same route seven years ago.”
Naomi now works as an Assistant to Chris Walker, who is a Partner and the Head of the Catastrophic Injury Department at Scott Rees & Co. She regularly assists in securing compensation settlements worth in excess of £1million, many of them involving injuries sustained in serious road traffic accidents.
With her qualification done and dusted, a break from studying is certainly due!
“I love road cycling, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting out and about on my bike when the weather improves without any exams looming over me!”
CILEx is one of the three main professional bodies covering the legal profession in England and Wales. Over 100,000 students have chosen CILEx over the last 25 years and those who are fully qualified can become partners in law firms, coroners, judges or advocates in open court.