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  1. #1
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default I want to be a lawyer

    Here's the challenge ....

    I would love to be a lawyer. Always loved it. However it is not the career I chose when leaving school in 1974.

    I am now 60 years old.

    Possible or not? What would it cost?

    Where is the best place to realise this dream?

  2. #2
    enaid's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    That's a challenge and half lol takes about 7-8 years so would it be worth it?


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  3. #3
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    That depends whether you are looking at this goal as a means to a living or just a personal achievement and have the funds to do it.

    Are you suggesting (with your mocking lol) that personal achievements are not something "mature" people should consider? Maybe you would suggest I just vegetate in a "care home" until I am pushing up daisies?

    Genuine replies only please.

  4. #4
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Newcastle_Brown View Post
    I would love to be a lawyer. Always loved it. However it is not the career I chose when leaving school in 1974.

    I am now 60 years old.

    Possible or not? What would it cost?
    I didn't join the legal profession until I was over 60 years old. I began as an intern even though I was technically a pensioner (with a Bus Pass ).

    I never wanted to be a lawyer, I was a journalist for over four decades before that.

    During the last recession I got hit with a court claim for a credit card * - it became was my burning bush moment. I became acutely aware of the banks' bad practices and the misery they cause people in debt through no fault of their own. So I decided to become a lawyer to fight for others in the same position.

    You can train on the job so you'll earn as you learn.

    I loathe exams so I never went to Law School or university. I wanted to get out into the world to make a difference when I left school (in the 1960s).

    There's no short cut to experience and what you've done in your past may well have equipped you for a future in law. With age comes wisdom. There's more to practising law than knowing your CPRs off by heart.

    If you want to be a lawyer you shall be a lawyer. Go for it!

    Di x

    * Santander v Mayhew here > http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17670803

    and the judgment here > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h...wjudgement.pdf
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  5. #5
    enaid's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    No, sorry didn't mean to come across as rude and most things are possible, good luck to you. I am a bit older than you and just the thought of going back to school would put me off, mind I didn't like it much the first time round.


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  6. #6
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. All I knew is that I wanted to leave so I didn't waste time doing 'A' Levels or going to university. I wanted to 'do' stuff not 'read' stuff.

    I joined the Daily Mail as an apprentice and loved every minute of it. I earned about £40 a week. What I learned in those days has been the bedrock of what I do now in the legal world.

    What motivates you to become a lawyer?

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  7. #7
    Kati's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    I'd love to be legally trained too ... although most courses I've seen are for criminal law not consumer law (which is where I'd want to be) so I'm holding off a bit
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

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  8. #8
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kati View Post
    I'd love to be legally trained too ... although most courses I've seen are for criminal law not consumer law (which is where I'd want to be) so I'm holding off a bit
    Every day is a school day working for Jo

    My initial 'training' was as a volunteer in a Law Centre in London. I did the meet-and-greet, made tea and photocopied a lot.

    I was surrounded by young wannabe lawyers who'd passed their Bar exams with flying colours but knew nothing about life, and even less about debt since they came from privileged backgrounds. They would ask me what I thought about tricky situations. The rest is history as they say.

    Volunteering in a legal environment is a good start if you want to become involved in law.

    Age is no barrier.

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  9. #9
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    @diana_ M
    Yes! Now you are the inspiration I was looking for! Thank you.

  10. #10
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Newcastle_Brown View Post
    @diana_M
    Yes! Now you are the inspiration I was looking for! Thank you.
    I'm a private person mostly, but your post caught my eye so I thought I'd share my experience with you.

    My daughter refers to me as Legally Grey

    I have found that inbuilt competitiveness is an essential ingredient to working in law. Legal proceedings are a contest. I don't need to win, I have to win. I'm more competitive than Andy Murray's mother!

    Di
    Last edited by Diana M; 21st April 2017 at 14:52:PM. Reason: typo
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  11. #11
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by enaid View Post
    No, sorry didn't mean to come across as rude and most things are possible, good luck to you. I am a bit older than you and just the thought of going back to school would put me off, mind I didn't like it much the first time round.
    It's ok. The idea that at 60 you're past it is common. However, I feel I have a lot left in me and vegetating was not on my to-do-list. I am a firm believer in "the future is only over when you're placed in your coffin"


  12. #12
    Kati's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana M View Post
    Every day is a school day working for Jo

    My initial 'training' was as a volunteer in a Law Centre in London. I did the meet-and-greet, made tea and photocopied a lot.

    I was surrounded by young wannabe lawyers who'd passed their Bar exams with flying colours but knew nothing about life, and even less about debt since they came from privileged backgrounds. They would ask me what I thought about tricky situations. The rest is history as they say.

    Volunteering in a legal environment is a good start if you want to become involved in law.

    Age is no barrier.

    Di
    when I was younger, I wanted to be a vet ... I didn't go down that route as (being brought up on an an Animal Sanctuary) I couldn't bear the thought of putting a fit/healthy animal to sleep

    Then I wanted to work in psychology ... I did both human and animal psych degrees (passed both with flying colours), but ended up as a single mum working as a cleaner in a pub lol
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

    ~~~~~

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    I can be emailed if you need my help loading pictures/documents to your thread. My email address is kati@legalbeagles.info
    But please include a link to your thread so I know who you are.

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  13. #13
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    There are a number of 'older' people in my group doing their LLB through the Open University, if that helps
    ďWe may not win by protesting, but if we donít protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.Ē Hetty Bower

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  14. #14
    enaid's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Newcastle_Brown View Post
    It's ok. The idea that at 60 you're past it is common. However, I feel I have a lot left in me and vegetating was not on my to-do-list. I am a firm believer in "the future is only over when you're placed in your coffin"

    I fully agree with you but the stress of the classroom would not do for me, not now, I prefer my weekends in my caravan and the less stress the better.


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  15. #15
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Newcastle_Brown View Post
    I feel I have a lot left in me and vegetating was not on my to-do-list. I am a firm believer in "the future is only over when you're placed in your coffin"
    In which case you should put becoming a lawyer on your Bucket List. I put it on mine

    I certainly wouldn't want to take advice from a young whippersnapper in their 20s even if they have got a double-first in Law from Cambridge and spent a year at Harvard.

    I want advice from someone who's got miles on the clock!

    Old age goes down well in some areas of the legal profession (unless you want to do boring conveyancing work etc).

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  16. #16
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kati View Post
    Then I wanted to work in psychology ... I did both human and animal psych degrees (passed both with flying colours)
    I'm always saying that a degree in psychology is more useful than a degree in law if you want to work in litigation.

    It's all about tactics and out-psyching the other side.

    Anyway, I better get back to work or I won't have a job in law much longer!

    Di x
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  17. #17
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kati View Post
    I'd love to be legally trained too ... although most courses I've seen are for criminal law not consumer law (which is where I'd want to be) so I'm holding off a bit
    I too fancy consumer law. I recently sent you (emailed) a report I'd written regarding my personal bitter experience with a pension scam. I feel there is a QROP time-bomb and thousands of innocent people are facing financial ruin, they know nothing about yet, in their retirement with no recourse for restitution.

    I am currently in communication with the "scammers" lawyers regarding a settlement in my case (they are aware of my report). My guess is they are going to want me to sign some agreement I won't send the report to the authorities. The legalese will trouble me but I will have to do the best I can. I would like to help future victims but will need to become a lawyer first if I am going to help them properly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    There are a number of 'older' people in my group doing their LLB through the Open University, if that helps
    It does help! i will investigate. Thanks

  18. #18
    R0b's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    I think you might struggle, but if you are serious then go for it. You would need to be realistic about your prospects and I would say you are likely to have a better chance of obtaining legal work at smaller/high street firms than any of the regional or national firms simply because of your age. There are a lot of mature students who do the LLB either because of their interest of because they have changed career and it is common to see a number in their 30s and 40s looking to qualify. Many medium and large firms do offer those the opportunity to qualify as a solicitor as they may still see some longevity there whereas someone who is in their 60s, they may not. That's not me putting you off but just something I become aware of over time and through discussions with others.

    Cost-wise you can go down a number of routes:

    LLB Degree
    Obviously the most common way to qualify at university or distance study. If going through a uni the average is £13,000 per year for 3 years unless you can obtain a student loan. Once completed you need to do the Legal Practice Course at around £11,000 which takes one year full time or two years part time. You then need to do your training contract which can only be done through a regulated law firm. Law firms accept applications normally 2 years in advance of completing your LLB. Very competitive and as an example I read a survey a few years ago suggesting that for every 1 training contract there are around 400 applications. If you are offered a training contract, firms generally pay for your LPC fees though it is common for small firms to ask you to contribute a % or give you it as a loan.

    Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)

    A different route to qualification in itself. Generally study part time and work at the same time, and the cost is around £5,000 give or take. Takes around 5-7 years to complete altogether although may be shorter. Once completed you become a Fellow of CILEX. You can then cross qualify to become a solicitor by completing the LPC but you do not need to undertake a two year training contract. There are some requirements to meet though such as working in a law firm for 3 years (used to be 5 but now 3 I think) and don't quote me but there may be one or two other requirements.

    There is the route to qualify as a barrister but I would honestly think you have little to no chance, unless you cross qualified from one of the above routes so I've not mentioned it.

    If you go down the LLB route and then struggle to obtain a training contract, you can then try and qualify via the CILEX route, you will be exempt from some exams because of your LLB and again if you complete the LPC you will be exempt from most if not all exams. Some law firms attach a stigma with those who qualify through CILEX and prefer the traditional route LLB route but don't let that put you off, I think more and more firms are becoming more accepting to it, except those who have been in the game much longer and refuse

    Any type of legal work is always a good start such as volunteering at a local citizens Advice Bureau, Law Centre or Immigration help centre etc. If you don't work now even offering to work at a law firm for free will be something to add to your CV and show that you are keen to pursue a career in law and not just some stint and/or result in a job.

    Judging by your username I might hazard a guess at you living in the North East (I may be wrong?) which is predominantly made up of firms who do personal injury and other private client work. There is a large commercial firm on the quayside but as I said above, I don't think they would be interested. There are some smaller commercial firms who may be interested however if you can show you are willing and keen - all depends on what area of law interests you.
    DISCLAIMER: AS A PUBLIC FORUM, THE CONTENT POSTED BY ME IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE NOR DOES IT CREATE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL OR OTHER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND ME. IF YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW ANYTHING THAT I HAVE PUBLISHED THEN YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST, AND I CANNOT ACCEPT LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.


  19. #19
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Wow! This thread is on fire! Didn't expect the helpful replies I am getting. Thanks. It's inspiring.

  20. #20
    R0b's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    FYI a new major update for those who wish to qualify has been announced by the SRA - https://l2b.thelawyer.com/issues/l2b...ment-scrapped/

    Personally, I am in the camp of this new 'super exam' being massively flawed but it does open up new opportunities for those who want to qualify. I would still expect most national and regional firms to offer the traditional training contract route but I can foresee there being a divide in legal knowledge between those who qualify under the previous training requirements to those under the new ones.

    this new super exam may appeal to you if you are wanting to qualify as a solicitor from 2020.
    DISCLAIMER: AS A PUBLIC FORUM, THE CONTENT POSTED BY ME IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE NOR DOES IT CREATE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL OR OTHER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND ME. IF YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW ANYTHING THAT I HAVE PUBLISHED THEN YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST, AND I CANNOT ACCEPT LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.


  21. #21
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    After a quick glance at that, any process that allows you to become a solicitor after more hands on work experience and less time in the exam room gets my vote

    If you intend to practice in a specific area of law it seems a waste of time and energy to study areas of law in which you will never become involved afterwards. The current system makes you generalise before you can specialise.

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  22. #22
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: I want to be a lawyer

    Hi,
    Don't do it! Only joking, but it is a long slog and not necessarily 'helping people' in the way maybe you would hope at the end of it, depending where you specialise of course.

    ROb's post is basically the current routes available although I would check the costs side. Currently it is quite rare for future employers to fund the LPC. Training contracts are also very few and far between and so competitive. The LPC providers are quite happy to take your fees for the compulsory course knowing full well supply and demand for training contracts figures just don't add up.

    Having said that, I went to Uni as a 'mature student' (basically anything over 21 is classed as mature!) I was 29 at the time and had been a junior sister in the NHS prior to that. Single parentdom caused me to make the change, having decided not to go to uni after leaving school.

    Another flag if you thought about the uni route, A level grades are only counted for 10 years. I had to take another couple of A levels despite having got sufficient the first time round but they were 12 years prior to my applying, (or a foundation course, but if you've been writing essays and the like this may be a bit basic, hence my additional A levels) to prove you can cope academically (despite having taken numerous course based qualifications to both qualify as an RGN and post qualification).

    One of the guys on my LLB was in his 60's. He had been a business man all his life and wanted to get a degree. I believe he ended up doing consultancy work following his degree, advising all sorts, so not qualifying as a solicitor or barrister. Really lovely man who added a huge amount to the dynamic in seminars, particularly when you are stuck in a room with a load of 18 year old, some of whom had so little life experience it was scary, but sometimes refreshing to hear their viewpoint!

    I think the ideas that have been posted regarding 'work experience' are sound. They will also give you a better overview of how things are in private practice, if you were able to get some experience there.

    I would say, if money is not quite such a motivator, there are some great opportunities out there to help people with their legal issues. I advised with the CAB for a few years, frustrating as with many 3rd sector opportunities, but definitely worthwhile.

    Good luck with your future plans.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

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