Ed Challinor (LLB Law, 2003) 

Exeter alumnus proves that your degree doesn’t dictate your career path

Alumnus, Ed Challinor (LLB Law, 2003) studied law at Exeter but ended up taking a much unexpected career path.

Despite eventually qualifying as a barrister, Ed went on to set up his own his cosmetic dental practice, Smileworks, proving that a degree from Exeter can take you in any direction.

We spoke to Ed about his time at Exeter: “I loved studying law at Exeter but I loved the Exeter experience more than anything in the world.  I knew at the time it was something magical but looking back I can only describe it as dreamlike.  Sometimes I get the old photos out and it brings all those feelings flooding back”.

He went on to comment on his career change: “I chose law because I thought it’s a degree that clever people do.  I ended up reading the LL.M masters in Company Law (for the same reason) and then qualified as a Barrister.  But in the end it wasn’t for me.  I always wanted to help people, and as a lawyer that’s not always the aim.  Law for me was an academic pursuit and I wanted to prove I could take it to its conclusion and become a professional lawyer.”

Ed also told us how his law degree taught him to research and learn. For example, it enabled him to teach himself to learn to read and analyse financial statements when setting up his dental practice.

Ed spoke to us about the adaptability of his law degree from Exeter: “LLB law at Exeter taught me to think. And it’s the degree I’m most proud of. Memories of the good times and even the difficult ones frequently revisit me like old friends and fill me with nostalgia for the green lawns and seemingly endless Devon countryside.

I’m so proud to have been part of such a remarkable institution – one that’s given me the confidence to create a remarkable institution of my own.”

Date: 6 February 2018

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