Alumnus interview: Paralegal Shelley Peynado-Clarke

Shelley Peynado-Clarke left Christ the King Sixth Form College in 2009, having completed A-Levels in Graphic Design, Law and Sociology.

It was at Christ the King that Shelley discovered her love of law, and quickly enrolled at university to study a law degree full time. She has fond memories of her time at CTK, so we asked her to share her experiences, stories and hopes for the future

Having studied law at College and then at university, are you now working in the field?

Yes, I’m currently working as a paralegal in the Actions Against the Police Department at Tuckers Solicitors.

This involves providing general support to the department, managing diaries, organising conferences, researching and assisting with cases, and generally improving my law knowledge and training.

What have been the most exciting or rewarding moments of your career so far?

I would say that working in the Prison Law Department has provided me with several rewarding moments, but my favourite has to be the overwhelming feeling of joy when you get a client released from prison after all of your hard work and efforts over the previous months.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

Working at Tuckers Solicitors for 11 months, I have spent the majority of my time working in Prison Law. I would say my biggest achievement to date is attending the prison to represent an offender who had adjudication and was facing a total of 14 additional days to be added to his sentence.

Once in front of the independent judge, I mitigated the client’s circumstances and managed to get from 14 days to seven additional days added. This was my first independent adjudication and initially I was nervous, but once it was complete I felt like I could conquer anything!

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced during your career?

When I began working at Tucker Solicitors I did not know much about Prison Law as it had never been a topic I had studied during my curricular years. I was thrown in at the deep end and was given many responsibilities by my colleagues which I believe was a challenge in itself.

I am forever grateful to my colleagues for doing so, as if they had not given me the large responsibilities to deal with at the start of my career, I wouldn’t be the Paralegal I am today.

How did your time at Christ the King Sixth Form College influence your career path?

In my final year at Christ the King, I studied Graphic Design, Sociology and Law. I chose the latter two as I have always been interested in society and how it has been shaped by historical and more recent factors. In the end, I knew I was more passionate about a career in Law, hence why I chose to study it at degree level.

What’s next for you in your career and life? Do you have any hopes and dreams you wish to achieve in the near future?

I hope I can build up my knowledge in the Police Actions Department and develop my personal skills to become qualified Solicitor.

What are your fondest memories from the time you attended Christ the King Sixth Form College?

During my two years at Christ the King, I enjoyed meeting new people and the freedom that was given to me. You start to realise that you are not forced to do anything, so if you want to do well and excel, you must dedicate yourself to doing so.

If you could give your fellow alumni any advice, what would it be?

Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve! Work hard, never give up. Follow what you are passionate about and the right career will follow.