‘Studying with CILEx Law School makes you feel like you are part of one big family’

Studying with CILEx Law School has allowed Tom Furneaux to follow his dream of qualifying as a solicitor without the need to attend university. Having completed his CILEx Level 6 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, he is now starting the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at De Montfort University and hopes to cross-qualify in four years’ time.

In what role are you currently working, and how have your studies helped your career progress?

I am currently working as a Commercial Property Executive within the Commercial Property department at Wilkin Chapman LLP’s Grimsby office. Completing my Level 6 Diploma has shown my employer how committed I am to progressing in this career, as it’s not always easy studying and working at the same time.

When I first started out I undertook mainly administrative duties, but now I regularly help out on development purchases and option agreements (which grant someone who is interested in a piece of land an option to purchase this at some point in the future) as well as handling my own caseload of commercial property transactions.

Why did you decide to study with CILEx Law School and how have you found the experience?

One of the things that made me want the job at Wilkin Chapman so much was that they offered this route into law without having to attend university. I did previously obtain a place to study law at university but decided that it wasn’t for me and dropped out.

I really have found the experience of studying with CILEx Law School invaluable. Yes, the exams are challenging – especially Level 6 – but the support that is offered really is fantastic. You always know that there is someone there from the law school happy to either answer a question over the phone, by email or through the student portal.

What have been your most positive experiences about studying with CILEx Law School, and which resources have you found most useful?

Although the courses are delivered by distance learning, there are tutors happy to answer questions, induction courses to put you on the right track and then revision days to make you as prepared as possible before you take the exam.

I have found the Student Area particularly useful for asking questions and the support available at the end of the phone, whether that be to do with exams or queries on cross-qualifying with the GDL.

Why would you recommend distance learning/studying with CILEx Law School to others?

I’d recommend distance learning through CILEx Law School simply because the support that it offers makes it feel like you really are part of a big family and that you aren’t alone if you get stuck with a particular area of law, or on a specific legal topic. There are fellow students happy to help out on the forums – as well as tutors.

Because the tutors are there to answer any queries, you know that you don’t have to panic if there is something that you don’t understand. The percentage of students passing exams with CLS compared to those not studying with CLS really is testament to this.

My message to everyone at CLS is therefore, ‘don’t stop what you’re doing – I really couldn’t have completed this without all of your help’.

What are your study and career intentions?

I will shortly be starting the GDL at De Montfort and I hope to cross-qualify as a solicitor in four years’ time (after I have completed the LPC). I feel like the support CLS has offered throughout my qualification so far really has put me on the front foot in respect of this, as the GDL followed by LPC was always my intention when I started my CILEx studies.