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Re-entering the work place in early/mid 40s?

(6 Posts)
Blueskiesandcherrypies Tue 25-Feb-14 12:28:20

AIBU to consider this a real possibility?

I am just about to have 4th and final baby. I'm almost 39. I worked in law before kids but left ten years ago to raise my children, my eldest is 9. I have just started a law degree with the OU as my existing law quals were/are not a degree and I'm totally out of touch anyway so need a massive refresher. I also did not do 'nothing' work-wise during my career break - I wrote articles for law firms for a few years.

So my plan in 3/4 years is to present myself back to the legal industry by saying I may be old(!) but I have a solid legal background, had the enthusiasm to set up my own business writing articles while raising my kids and have a bang up to date law degree. (I should say, I'm not - or won't be - looking for solicitor/partner roles, more like paralegal/assistant roles).

So AIBU to consider this plan could work? Has anyone done similar? Am I bonkers?

Thanks in advance!

emsyj Tue 25-Feb-14 13:00:32

The legal market now is not comparable with the market 10 years ago, I can tell you that much. You might be wise to talk to a few recruiters or to the sort of places you would want to sell your articles (have no idea what you mean by 'writing articles for law firms' to be honest, it's not a concept I've ever come across myself) to see if there will be a market for your skills when you complete your degree.

I don't think your age would matter either way. Law is pretty welcoming to mature candidates in my experience. However, if you want a job as a paralegal/legal assistant, you should be aware that you will be competing with other applicants who have a qualifying degree AND the LPC/BVC and probably relevant and recent experience too. Also, those jobs are generally quite poorly paid. Do you really want a job doing grunt work?

You could consider doing the ILEX exams instead of a degree. I can't see that a law degree would be 'better' than that if you don't want to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. You may well find that your local adult education college offers ILEX as an evening course and that it would be cheaper, faster and fit in better with family commitments than doing a degree. I would talk to a recruiter about which quals would be viewed more favourably by employers.

Have you considered applying for public sector roles? I have left the law and joined the civil service. It's much more family-friendly, the work is interesting (I am not a lawyer any more by the way, although my work does involve legal matters) and your time away from the workplace will not count against you in the least.

Blueskiesandcherrypies Tue 25-Feb-14 16:03:58

Many thanks for your reply.

I would certainly not rule out public sector roles.

I have been down the ILEX route and comported it. I qualified as a Fellow in 2003. The law degree I am now doing is for my own enjoyment and will hopefully bring me as up to date as I need to be with the law.

The articles I referred to - any firm worth their salt has a regular stream of informative articles on their website, that's where I came in smile.


Blueskiesandcherrypies Tue 25-Feb-14 16:04:35

* completed

SliceOfLime Tue 25-Feb-14 16:08:51

I don't know but I'm hoping to do the same myself in five years or so, so I hope you manage it! smile Just this week I had an email from the Law Society with info about a 1 or.2 day course on getting back into law after some time out, worth looking into for you?

emsyj Tue 25-Feb-14 16:23:50

Oh ok, I've only ever worked at large firms with PSL support - so all articles on their website would have been drafted internally.

What was your area of specialism? If you have significant experience of article writing in a particular area, have you considered PSL type roles? That sort of job might be more appropriate to someone who is used to doing research and digesting developments as they arise etc.

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