A rising star of the legal world has been presented with a prestigious award.
Charlotte Addicott never thought a career in law was an option for her when she applied for a job as a paralegal.
Three years ago a friend suggested she apply and explained a law degree wasn’t necessary for a paralegal.
On her first day she was introduced to the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives’ (CILEx) course at Cardiff and Vale College, which offers an alternative route to becoming a lawyer.
Charlotte, 25, of Caerphilly, has now accepted the award for top CILEx student in the region for her “exceptional” achievements.
Charlotte said: “I’m over the moon with the award, I can’t believe it. When I applied for the paralegal role, I didn’t understand fully the doors open to me.
“On my first day of working in the legal sector a colleague suggested I could train through CILEx to gain a qualification equivalent to that of a solicitor.”
Charlotte is now working as a litigation executive at Slater and Gordon’s Cardiff office. The law firm also fund and support her through the training.
She added: “I’m about halfway through my studies with another two years ahead of me, so to win something like this so early on in my career has made me feel really proud.
“It’s a fantastic drive for me to keep going during the long hours of studying ahead of me before I qualify.
“Working while studying doesn’t come without challenges, however this award has fuelled my appetite for success.”
The CILEx programme is divided into two levels, with Charlotte winning the top prize for her level of students within the Cardiff and Vale College area.
The course generally involved six years of studying and work-based training, with CILEx fellows widely recognised as equals to those qualifying through the traditional Solicitors Regulation Authority framework.
Charlotte said: “I had a degree in geography. I didn’t think law was an option or something I would be able to do.
“Even though I was only 21-years-old I thought it was too late to retrain.
“I always knew my strength was communicating with people.
“My current role is perfect as I am able to do a worthy job for those who require our assistance. There is massive job satisfaction that comes with getting a good settlement for those who have faced difficult times.”
Charlotte is expected to qualify as a legal executive in the next couple of years.