Since school I wanted to be a lawyer; but many barriers (including homelessness) led to under-performance in my A-levels, so university was shelved until later in life. By the time I completed my degree at the Open University, the only career open to me was education, as I needed to be off work whenever my children (including one severely disabled) were off school. Instead of the GDL, I ended up doing the PGCE.

I nonetheless enjoyed teaching in secondary schools of all different kinds, where I learned a lot about people, relationship building, adaptability and organising myself. I continued volunteering at my local Citizens Advice, as my background had taught me that the impossible is around us all the time, so one day, a legal career might become a possibility for me. Often the doors we think are closed just need a little push at the right time.

When my children left home, I decided it was now or never. In my early 40s I returned to university. I worked full time as a courier, and ran a business online while I studied. I wasn’t afraid of hard work, but I needed help to direct my energy where it’d be most effective. Aspiring Solicitors’ support was invaluable in showing me how to research and evaluate different firms to know which ones really ‘walk the walk’ in terms of diversity, building my confidence to aim for the top.

Since starting my TC at Withers, I’ve often found that elements of my unique background turned out to have taught me many soft skills such as how to & work smart cope under pressure, establish good relations and healthy boundaries, all of which complements the academic and practical skills I’ve picked up through my life experience and studies.

Back To Mentor Profiles