Age no barrier to success, says 56-year-old trainee

A would-be lawyer has proven age is just a number when it comes to securing a training contract – he will be 58 years old when he qualifies.

A would-be lawyer has proven that age is just a number when it comes to securing a training contract – he will be 58 years old when he qualifies.

Steve Willey has secured a training contract with west Yorkshire firm Last Cawthra Feather aged 56.

Before bagging a training contract Willey managed to carve out an impressive CV. He worked in a bank, then for its trade union, later switching to the Citizens Advice Bureau and finally representing various organisations in employment tribunals.

He applied to work at Last Cawthra Feather in 2007 and after starting his Legal Practice Course (LPC), the firm has offered him a training contract.

Willey, from Skipton, north Yorkshire, said: I know that Ive been lucky to gain a training contract at my age and my firm have really gone out on a limb for me. But I know that I have a great deal to give the firm in return.

But Willey is not the only trainee to be on the more mature side. Research by Lawyer2B.com found that Bird & Bird has hired 50-year-old Mary Smillie.

Smillie, who will qualify in February next year, said she has mixed well with the other trainees at the firm – even though many are more than two decades younger than her.

She said: I think someone who has had a little bit more life experience can bring a great deal to a firm.

I am a very loyal person and I have at least 15 years to offer the firm. Most people my age are counting down the days until retirement because they hate their jobs. I love what I do so I cant even imagine wanting to retire.