Natalie deals with conveyancing transactions from instruction to completion, liaising with clients, solicitors, lenders and local authorities. Lots of time is spent checking over the documents and writing reports...
After studying A-level law, I went to university and studied for a Diploma in Law. I realised I had a passion for law and went on to do a law degree, and then I completed my Legal Practice Course (LPC). After university I joined Countrywide Property Lawyers in Cardiff to gain some experience in the profession. I always believed I was destined for a career in family law, but having gained an insight into conveyancing in the workplace I decided this was my chosen course.
After two years at Countrywide I moved to another firm in the hope of securing a traineeship, but there was a lot of competition and a five-year waiting list to secure a training contract. After two years, I was promoted to team manager of the title checking department and was rapidly gaining experience of residential conveyancing and remortgage. I decided to study for my Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) qualification and once qualified returned to Countrywide Property Lawyers to progress my career in conveyancing.
Having completed the LPC, I found the topics easier to understand as the majority had been covered on the LPC course and it also gave me exemption from some of the modules. The qualification has certainly given my career a boost.
The people I work with are fantastic - we work as a team and support each other. In Countrywide there is an excellent training programme where you have the opportunity to keep up with new developments and changes in the law. Countrywide Property Lawyers strongly believes in achieving a good work-life balance. I also feel that the CLC qualification is increasing in status, which pays off in terms of added recognition for me.
Dealing with conveyancing transactions is a stressful job as there's a lot of pressure to meet your clients' expectations as well as meeting set targets in your job.
There was a dip in the market at the beginning of the year but it's started to pick up again. The introduction of Home Improvement Packs has made the conveyancing transaction quicker and more straightforward.
Next year I become eligible for the full CLC licence, which means that, if I wanted to, I could start my own conveyancing business. The CLC is also hoping to issue the first licences for licensed conveyancers to issue probate applications.
My advice for current students who are considering becoming a licensed conveyancer would be to go for it! Getting a training contract as a solicitor has become really tricky and the CLC qualification gives you equal status with solicitors in the conveyancing field.
Most people study some form of law or have a background in conveyancing before applying to become a licensed conveyancer, but it's not always necessary as the CLC syllabus covers modules to train you.
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