SOLICITOR Melanie Francis followed her dreams and changed careers from banking to law, qualifying as a solicitor this year. She has now joined Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Melanie, who has joined its Colchester office, decided ten years ago banking was not for her and began a three-year law degree at Anglia Ruskin University while 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 a paralegal.

That eventually led to a training contract and now she is part of the residential real estate team at Birkett Long.