A single mum from Cranwell who has gained a first in her law degree at the age of 39 says it is never too late to follow your dream.
Clare Newton, of Sleaford Road, has been taken on by a firm of solicitors in Stamford and hopes she can be an inspiration to other lone parents who had thought such a career move was out of reach.
Former Kesteven and Grantham Girls School student Clare, who grew up in Great Gonerby where five generations of her family lived, first attended Lincoln University before moving on to Nottingham Trent University.
Clare, who has two children, Emily, 14, and Jessica, 12, said: “It is something I have always wanted to do, to go into law, but circumstances after my A-levels meant I couldn’t do it.
“I married someone in the military so we never stayed anywhere long enough. Four or five years ago I took voluntary redundancy from the NHS. It was my brother who said to me why don’t you go into law? But I thought I was too old.”
But Clare took the plunge and excelled in her studies despite the death of her father and going through a divorce. While at both universities she won awards for being the top student. She says Nottingham went out of its way to accommodate her studies as a single mother.
She said: “I am a single parent and a mature student. I loved it at Nottingham, They were absolutely brilliant and helped me out by condensing my studies into a few days.
“The main thing is that the study has kept me focused and given me something to aim for all the time. I have always been academic and always done well. I did not think I would win those awards but I pushed myself to get a first and that gave me the impetus, no matter what was thrown at me.”
Clare says she is very lucky to have a training contract with a practice in Stamford. She first approached the company for work experience and has worked in all departments of the firm. She will undertake a legal practice course to become a solicitor and will study for a LLM Masters of Law at Nottingham.
Clare also works for Victim Support which has allowed her to see the court system from the point of view of the victim.
Clare said: “I feel brilliant and really proud of myself. I feel I can achieve my goals. I have got the training contract I need and that is the Holy Grail of the legal world.
“If you are a single mum and want to do something with your life, don’t let anything stand in your way. Go for it. There is nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it.”