Alternative Paths to Education – A-Level Results Day

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Alternative Paths to Education – A-Level Results Day

Our Head of Residential Property, Laura Cartwright, shares her personal journey to becoming a Partner at Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors.

I am sharing my story with A-Level students to inspire those considering alternative paths to education if they don’t receive the results they need.

A-Level Results Day is extremely stressful, I have been there with both of my children and remember those days vividly. If you are a student and you are hesitant about traditional University education, and you don’t have the results you need, or you think it is too late to follow your dream, then read on...

It is never too late to learn something new, I am here to tell you YOU CAN DO IT!

I was initially employed by Benjamin Kay & Co as a Legal Secretary for a Partner in the Runcorn office in August 1998. Prior to this, I had worked for 13 months at another Law Firm as a Junior Legal Secretary. In 1991, Bell Lamb & Joynson incorporated Benjamin Kay & Co.

Things were different in those days, and the partner I worked for handled a variety of matters including crime, divorce/family, Wills and probate and personal injury claims so I had an opportunity to develop my knowledge in a few areas of Law. I became a mum at 25 and I went back to work full-time. I was 28 when our second child was born and worked 3 days a week.

At 33, I was given an opportunity to become a Conveyancer with my own caseload and I increased my working days to 4. I didn’t have the luxury of an assistant and I did all my own work from inception to post-completion. At 37, I felt it was make or break and I applied to CILEx to study what was known then as Level 3.   I had 2 children aged 11 and 9 and worked 4 days a week. I had not sat an exam for 21 years. I attended Chester College as a mature student one evening a week for 2 years.

My approach to studying was that I had one chance and no time to fail. I was so busy with “life” I had to pass the first time. I gave it everything I had. When I passed Level 3 I couldn’t wait to get started on Level 6 and could see the end in sight.

CILEx Level 6 (as it was known then) was an Honours Degree, so it was quite a step up and I had to spend a lot of time studying and of course, carrying on with my day job. At 41 my CILEx studies were complete, and I was admitted as a Fellow FCILEx on the 18th of October 2012.

Laura Cartwright Bell Lamb & Joynson

Six years ago, I became Head of Residential Property at Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors.  It struck me that there were so many younger people who needed support, guidance and encouragement and I knew that I could take on this role. Being kind, having patience and offering support should not be a chore.

On 1st July 2020, I became an equity Partner – approximately 31 years since I first walked through the door.

What advice would I give to my younger self?

If you want it, you can do it. You don’t have to be the best, but if you are committed and work hard enough you will achieve – and don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t!

Find out more about Laura here.

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