SOLICITOR Melanie Francis is a happy woman, not only did she follow her dreams and change careers from banking to law, qualifying as a solicitor this year, but she has now just joined Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Melanie, who recently joined the firm’s Colchester office, decided ten years ago that banking was not for her and began a three-year law degree at Anglia Ruskin University whilst reducing her working hours to part-time to help fund it.

After graduating, it was a waiting game for Melanie.

After a further year working full time she returned to the lecture room on a part-time basis to study for her Legal Practice Course.

A couple of years later her patience paid off and she became landed a role as a paralegal.

That eventually led to a training contract and now she is part of the residential real estate team at Birkett Long. She said: “It is incredibly rewarding once you have exchanged on a property for a client.

“Moving house is one of the most stressful things a person can do in life.”

To anyone else dreaming of changing careers in 2017 she had this advice: “Do it.

“Follow your dreams and your heart – you are never too old to make a change and start a new career.”

Birkett Long is a full service law firm which has offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon.

With 21 partners, it provides a wide range of legal and independent financial services for business including corporate and commercial advice, dispute resolution, education, insolvency and employment and for individuals: family law, wills and conveyancing.

For more information, visit or call 01206 217300.