Cheers for Reading: Back after a break from the law

23 September 2020

By Sarah Cheers, Paralegal, Wills, Trusts & Estates Team

Hi, I am Sarah Cheers. I joined Cullimore Dutton in April as a paralegal in the Wills, Trusts & Estates department and I am sharing this series of brief insights into my time as a Paralegal.

In this first post, I want to share the career path which led me to join Cullimore Dutton. 

In March 2017 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, just two weeks before my 30th Birthday. 

At the time I was a paralegal working at Chester based firm Slater & Gordon, formerly Walker Smith Way (WSW). As a result, I went on sick leave for a considerable period, during which time the Chester office closed, and I was made redundant. This was a significant blow at what was already a difficult time.

As I progressed through my recovery, I became well enough to work again and joined a local recruitment company as an admin assistant on a temporary basis, but soon realised I was missing the law and began looking for opportunities in the legal sector. Subsequently, I joined another Chester based legal practice as a Legal Secretary. This contributed greatly to me regaining the confidence I had lost while unwell, and exposed me once more to private client work. Approximately six months later, an opportunity arose to join Cullimore Dutton as a Paralegal. This would enable me to get back to the work I loved and was qualified for.  

Another factor which attracted me to the role at Cullimore Dutton was that I would be once more working alongside my former colleague and close friend Sarah Gill. Sarah and I studied on the same paralegal course, both qualifying in 2015, and had previously worked together for nine years at WSW. In addition, I would also be able to work once more with Philip Appleby. Philip was my Head of Department at WSW and a great support when I received my cancer diagnosis in 2017. So, to work closely with Sarah and Philip again in what they both said was a fantastic team seemed like the perfect opportunity, it felt like this was meant to be.

I left my previous role in March and was due to take up my new position at Cullimore Dutton after a holiday in Rome, then lockdown struck! 

This was a very worrying time for everyone, and I was very concerned about my new job; would lockdown affect my start date or my hours? Would they still want to employ me? 

However, there was no need to worry, I joined Cullimore Dutton in April and was the first person to receive their induction and all systems training remotely.  Understandably, I was quite nervous – starting any new role always comes with a degree of excitement and nerves, added to this was the fact that I was returning to a Paralegal role and would be working from home.

Straight away I loved it. I was once more doing the work I enjoyed, I found the challenge of working remotely a real buzz, and most importantly for me, I was regaining my confidence daily.

One of the best things about my job is being part of such a fab and supportive team. They have been amazing and have helped me so much during lockdown. We have daily Zoom meetings and there is always someone at the end of the phone should I need them. 

I cannot thank our Head of Department, Adele, enough for her support throughout this time, she has been patient and guided me as I have learnt and, in some cases, relearnt the ropes. Sarah has also been amazing and has supported me with training, help and advice from day one. 

I cannot wait to get back into the office to meet the rest of my team face to face and sit in on client appointments once more.

Life after cancer is tough but being back as a Paralegal, with a great team around me, doing something that I really enjoy keeps me focused and busy.

Until next time…

Cheers, Sarah

Get in touch with Cullimore Dutton Solicitors on 01244 356 789 or email

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.