(Original post by *laura_23**)
I am not going to judge you, as I do not know all of the facts or circumstances. However, I will be blunt and straight to the point. Please do not take this the wrong way, it is meant with the best intention, but I am not in the habit of sugar coating what I say with BS.
1. With seven children, how the hell do you expect to be able to complete a law degree. I respect your determination but a law degree must be treated the same as full time employment if you wish to achieve a respectable mark. A 2:1 is the minimum most firms will look at for T.C, and for the Bar the standard is even higher. Law is one of, if not the most competitive fields out there. You must seriously consider with 7 children if not only will you have the time, but the stamina and mental strength to manage both. I have two children and had to consider this very carefully, and only after putting an extensive support network, and solid childcare arrangements in place, as well as waving my social life goodbye for now, did I take this on.
2. I to have just completed the access to law programme, and have accepted an offer at Warwick University. At the level of the access programme, there will not really be any barrier to you learning. However, as a mature student on a law degree course, you will almost certainly be expected to attend an interview, wherever you apply. Not only will your grades and personal statement be put under the spotlight, they will question you extensively about your personal life, committments and motivation. Warwick asked me about my children, child care arrangements, time management skills, reasons for returning to study, and in your case almost certainly about your past. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO BE SEEN AS A GOOD CHOICE. Warwick actually said 'Why should we choose you over an 18 year old with straight A's at A Level.' You must be prepared with a good answer, but also your criminal record WILL be questioned. Your answer will have to have a little more than its in the past now. Ensure your tutor at college is ringing the universities and asking how much of a barrier your past is, or at least supporting you when you do this. I don't mean to sound like a patronising, I've experienced the barriers, not only as a mature student, but a parent, and a student with a disability, I would rather tell you how it is.
3. You will have to sacrifice a lot of time with your children. Are you prepared to do this. The burden on you with this degree, and the children will be immense. Do you have the right support to ensure they are not at a disadvantage, and will you cope. I think mature student parents returning to education is fantastic, they are effectively recieving a second chance. The one thing, however, that irritates me more than anything, is when mature students think they can be a superhero, and take on all sorts, then not cope and drop out. That place has then been denied to someone who would have committed to it, and has then effectively been wasted. Please do not take this the wrong way, but be sure it is not too much. I would see how things go on the Access, that course is hard work, and requires a massive amount of work. This will be an indicator as to whether you can manage or not.
Im not being horrible, but you need to talk to your college and take advice on this. A law degree is a route into many different careers, as well as the access with certain subject combinations being a route into different degrees. A part time course may help with family committments. Your family and convictions are not a barrier to an education and a better life, or even a career in law to some degree, but you need to be sure your motivation will hold.