‘An affordable way to qualify as a lawyer’

Catherine Rickett heads the Debt Recovery Team at Roythornes Solicitors, in Peterborough, after qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive three years ago. Her job involves recovering unpaid debts by various means. She explains how studying with CILEx Law School (CLS) has helped her to develop her career.

Why did you decide to progress your career by studying with CILEx Law School?

When I returned to work after having my daughter, I felt that I needed to make working worthwhile and to achieve something for the sacrifice of leaving her with a childminder full time.

CILEx Law School provided me with an opportunity to fit in studies around working full time. It was also an affordable way to qualify as a lawyer – and paying in instalments made it achievable.

My first role legal role was in negotiating legal costs. I was employed as a fixed costs fee earner.

When I started studying I had progressed in the firm to the low-value litigation costs department dealing with the legal costs in litigated or disputed matters. I therefore had a better understanding of the subject of litigation when I began to study the CILEx Civil Litigation Unit.

How have your studies helped your career?

Since the CILEx qualifications allow you to pick units which relate to your subject area, I feel that I am now an expert in those fields.

I believe that the fact that I have studied in my own time whilst working full time and with a family has shown employers that I am serious about my career. I also have lots of life experience and can understand situations because of that.

This has allowed me to step up into my current role of debt recovery manager and the next phase of my career, heading a three-strong team at Roythornes.

What was your experience of studying with CLS?

The most positive experience was the graduation ceremony. It was brilliant for my family to come and witness me grace the stage. Studying is tough and requires the love and support of your family. I was very lucky to have that.

I also had plenty of help and support from my tutors. It was so easy to use the system to upload my assignments and receive the feedback.

If you have commitments at home and need to be able to study in your own time, then CLS is great. It is flexible, and the online systems are accessible day and night.