Joanne graduated with a 2.2 in law from the Swansea Institute. She is currently a paralegal
working for 1-Legal solicitors, and is undertaking the legal executive (Ilex) diploma.
What do you do in your current job?
Everything. I deal with clients who have new claims. I find out what happened, and get as much information as possible from them. I then type the details up, and pass it on to a partner, who decides if they’re going to take the claim on. If the client doesn’t have legal expenses cover, we arrange for an insurance policy with a "no win no fee" agreement. I send out a CFA (conditional fee agreement) and I then pass the claim on to whoever’s going to be dealing with it. For road traffic accidents, I check the vehicle. If necessary, I arrange for more photos to be taken. We deal with all types of personal injury claims: personal injury covers road traffic accidents and employer liability. We also have departments that deal with industrial disputes, and a team that specialises in conveyancing.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy dealing with clients on the phone. I even like chasing people up. There is something different every single day, which is great.
What is the most challenging part?
When I’m doing something new. For example I might have a new claim form that needs completing. Things like that I find the most challenging, but also the most fun.
Why did you decide not to pursue a career as a solicitor?
I couldn’t afford to do the LPC, which is another reason why I decided to undertake the Ilex diploma. At the moment I am two steps below a solicitor. When I get the Ilex qualification I will be one step below. It was a good opportunity to further my career as well as having another qualification. I started doing the Ilex diploma while I was doing my degree. It was a two-year course: the first year was portfolio-based and covered all aspects of law, which I found quite
interesting. In the second year I had one lecture a week, and at the end of the year there was an exam. I found it quite difficult at the time, because at the same time I had exams for university. Work is quite happy for me to step up and become a legal executive.
What advice do you have for readers considering a career as a legal executive?
You have to really study for it – there are so many grey areas of law. There is a lot of work to be done. It takes a while, like every degree, but the rewards are fantastic. You career is opened up to so many different avenues with Ilex – it’s unbelievable