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Legal secretary qualifies as Chartered Legal Executive


Gilbert Stephens Solicitors has congratulated former legal secretary Sarah Heath, after she qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive.


The South West-based solicitors said that she would be specialising in residential conveyancing at the firm.


Sarah joined the firm in 2013 and after initially working as a secretary, combined her studies to be a Chartered Legal Executive with her work.

She now deals as part of a highly skilled team, said the firm, dealing with a wide range of conveyancing transactions, including purchases involving the Help to Buy Scheme.


“At Gilbert Stephens Solicitors, we have a proud history of encouraging the personal and career development of our staff and building our firm from within,” said a spokesperson.


The firm added that Sarah was also an active committee member of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) – and had been instrumental in growing the Exeter-based group.


“The YPN membership is now over 300 strong and provides fun monthly events that allow local professionals to meet and network in a fun and relaxed environment and build connections across professions,” said the firm.


Sarah said that she got her first job in a law firm while still at school, helping at a local solicitors for an hour-and-a-half after school on Fridays, her duties including photocopying, archiving, reception duties and occasionally helping out with secretarial tasks.


“I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue a career in law,” she said.


Sarah qualified using the CILEx route and says the most difficult part was finding the motivation to pick up her books after a tough day in the office.


“That said, the experience I was able to obtain by taking the CILEx route has proved invaluable, so while it was difficult for me, it was definitely worth it.”

She admitted that it had taken her a long time to decide on her specialist area in law.


“Originally, I thought I’d want to work in private client or litigation. However, to help find the area best suited for me, I became a secretary to a Fee Earner who had a diverse caseload.


“This gave me experience and insight into a variety of other areas and I realised that I wanted to continue with a career in conveyancing.


“A lot of my clients are first time buyers and it’s nice knowing that the work you are undertaking will help secure their first home.”


She advises anyone considering a career in law not to rush into anything, but to take the time to decide what qualification path and specialist area is the best fit.


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