In 2016 I graduated university with my law degree, and despite trying everything I could to get a training contract in both Cambridge and London, I received only a slew of ‘no thank you’ letters from those contacted, and so it was with a heavy heart that I told myself a career in legal practice was not going to become a reality for a man aged 47, despite my deep passion for both the subject and discipline.
During the period between my graduation and today, we have also struggled to make ends meet as a family, and so in a bid to find local legal employment I wrote to all the Cambridge law firms looking for a chance to gain paid or even voluntary work. Fortunately I was offered three months of work experience with a wonderful nearby practice, where I was immediately able to assist the legal team while gaining some invaluable practice experience.
However at the end of my time they were unable to extend my employment, nor offer me a training contract, and so I wound up unemployed again and writing a case law study book for English law students, in the hope that it would generate some much needed revenue. Sadly I was unable to effectively market it without again having deep pockets, and so although I succeeded in self-publishing it at some cost, it has since only sold a handful of copies following its release in August of 2017.
As of November 2017 I have been writing a much larger second case law study book for American Juris Doctor law students, while I have also set myself up as a legal consultant, albeit in the painful knowledge that without my completing a Legal Practice Course (LPC), I can only help people in a very limited capacity.
Following my wife’s recommendation of me to other mothers during the school run, I was very recently able to work unpaid with my first client in exchange for the opportunity to gain a positive testimonial through my use of collective legal knowledge in a complex issue, in which I have been quick to demonstrate highly effective results, although the inevitable truth is that I still could not represent my client in court unless under exceptional circumstances.
That said, the good news was that this recent experience immediately reignited my love for legal practice, and in wanting to use my innate strengths and numerous life experiences to help those vulnerable and suffering in some way. And so in the last few weeks I made a solemn vow to study the LPC at my former university here in the city of Cambridge, which was impossible two years ago due to only a handful of universities offering the course, and many of those were online or part-time, not to mention the fact that I would have struggled to even pay for them.
It is this consistently sad fact that results from the truth that this particular industry-related course falls outside the remit of the Government’s student loans programme, which then forces me to try and borrow the money from a bank with insufficient income to obtain a loan of that size; all of which brings me here with a heartfelt plea to the kindness of others everywhere, who can with enough small donations, be able to help me bridge the gap between the hope and dream of working as a successful solicitor a proud father and husband, and my ongoing feeling of utter powerlessness to answer the demands of a field that I have always felt at home in.
In closing, I believe that with an LPC tucked firmly under my belt, I might at last be able to find a supportive local law firm willing enough to give me a training contract, after which I would be able to work diligently, and in some way give something back to the kinds of people who made it possible for me to study the course in the first place.
In all honesty I don’t know if these words will fall upon deaf ears, and I have no words with which to convey just how much this would mean to me, my wife and two young girls, but unless I try, I will never know, and so here I am, and I promise all those who are willing to donate, that I will not let you down, and that your kindness and ability to support me in this journey will quite simply be the best investment that you ever made.