My Legal Career – Story 5

The lawyers we work with are sharing their stories to let us see the realities and inspiration behind their career journey and their legal study.

Here’s Philip Nam’s story in his own words.

I’m Director of White Collar Legal.  I am a Consultant Lawyer, Costs Draftsman, Advocate and Mediator.  I currently work for six solicitor firms as a consultant fee earner.  I have also recently started providing legal practice training. I work everywhere but mostly in Liverpool.

White Collar Legal is my paralegal law firm but you can also find me in three London firms as a Consultant and three North West firms also as a consultant.

I came to study law because the wife said it was a good idea.  One of my clients called me while she was in the car and he had just become a Fellow.  My wife asked me what it was about and so the rest is history.  The real study was undertaken on-the-job.

My first job was an office junior in a small 2-partner firm in Liverpool.  I was 18 (ish) and I came out of college with Grades E, N and U at A-Level.

My admin skills were top notch and I moved on to becoming a legal secretary at another firm.  The definition of ‘lawyer’ is really someone who practices law.  Before my studies, I was already a lawyer.  It is not something I wanted to be, it is really something that I fell into.  I do enjoy it.

It seems like a lifetime ago when I first started formal study.  I actually studied specialist paralegal qualifications in or around 2012.  I started studying CILEx in or around 2017 and I am currently part-way through Level 6.

Qualifying employment is and continues to be extremely difficult as I do not work in a traditional sense.  My first application was rejected as not enough evidence or information and apparently the references from 11 different solicitor firms that I submitted were not suitable.   I have just submitted an appeal which included a further two solicitor references and 13-months’ worth of time records to show that I am doing legal work under supervision.

Running my own law firm is difficult as can be.  Add to that studying and, time management skills really have to come to the fore.  I was really looking forward to starting work today though, I love it!

I face the challenges of career and study with great support from the wife.   There are times where I am just too busy to study.

Until very recently, passing every exam was a personal win in my study.  Unfortunately, I failed my recent exam in September 2020.

I would tell anyone else wanting a career in law, If you want it enough, then there is no reason why you cannot have it. Hard work is key.  I have my own law firm without any formal qualifications.  I did not get into university.  Whatever your background or qualifications, as long as you are committed, you can do it.

My plan is becoming qualified and having my firm and I fully regulated to be able to carry out reserved legal activities without needing to pass it to my solicitor contacts.

You can find out more about White Collar Legal and Philip’s work here White Collar Legal and Admin Website

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