Cheree P. A. D’Oyley is a practicing attorney-at-law and a qualified accountant. She is currently employed to the Government of Jamaica as a clerk of court, prosecuting mainly criminal matters. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) in Accounting, a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Business Administration, a Legal Education Certificate, and a National Vocational Qualification in Accounting Level 4 (AAT). She has been working in the judicial system for thirty-one (31) years. She is a Christian and enjoys the performing arts with dancing and drama being her favorites.
Lunch with Counsellor D’Oyley was refreshing, enlightening, and inspiring all at the same time. VBD Magazine had a chat with her regarding her journey to becoming an attorney, her challenges, and triumphs. Read more about her investment in her development.
VBD: Give us details about you and your story.
CHEREE: I am an ordinary working-class citizen of Jamaica, with a passion for life. In addition, I see myself as someone who seeks to maximize every opportunity while enjoying life at different stages and seasons. My professional journey began at eighteen (18) years old when with one year left to complete my high school studies, instead of returning to school after the summer break, I submitted my first job application. After been interviewed, I was employed by the Ministry of Justice, an arm of the public sector of the Government of Jamaica, and was assigned to the Judicial Sector, at court in Kingston.
That initial employment has been unbroken and almost thirty-two (32) later, I have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge having held several positions in different Parish Courts namely Criminal Court, Civil Court, Tax Court, Traffic Court, and Family Court. The positions held include paralegal officer, accountant and supervisor of various account departments, Court manager (Senior Court Administrator), and currently a clerk of courts (prosecutor). My professional experience resulted in passion, desire and ultimately a love affair, firstly for the accounting profession and secondly for the legal profession.
VBD: You have extensive professional experience. How did you move from the field of accounting to law?
CHEREE: My reasons for working in each area of specialization are different. Initially, I was assigned as a paralegal officer, but it was my passion to explore my hereditary inclination. My father was an accountant so that led me to become an accountant. At this point, I began enjoying my job and thought to myself that I had found my calling and would continue as an accountant until I retired. However, this changed because of my desire to maximize every viable opportunity. I accepted an offer in management and human resource and became a Senior Court Administrator where I managed a specialized Court. The final area of specialization came about when I felt the need to maximize my experience and knowledge of the judicial sector hence, I became an attorney- at-law which led to me discovering a passion for law.
VBD: How did you get up to speed with the educational requirements for your profession?
CHEREE: My educational journey has evolved concurrently with my professionally journey. My passion for accounting resulted in my first two major territory educational achievements. Firstly, an international certificate from London, a National Vocational Qualification in Accounting Level 4 (AAT) which was followed by my first of three degrees a Bachelor of Science B.Sc. (accounting major). Next, I then pursued and completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Towards the end of the MBA program, I enrolled in the Faculty of Law, and was labelled a professional student by friends and families.
In my opinion, my educational and professional development was influenced by my mother, an educator for over forty years and my stepfather, a professional, who both instilled in me the need for educational and personal development. At the Faculty of Law, I completed the Bachelor of Law program and in preparation for the Jamaica Bar exams, I went to the Norman Manley Law School, where I completed the Legal Education Certificate program and was subsequently called to the Jamaican Bar in 2016.
VBD: What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
CHEREE: The major challenges that I have had to overcome in my professional and educational journey include working hard to achieve my dreams, managing my finances, and learning how to multi-task, while remaining creative and innovative. Throughout my career, each promotion was done without prior experience in the area, and it was my overarching dream to succeed that gave me the courage to accept and perform each of my work assignments. With my employment being my main source of income, I had to creatively manage my finances as I went through each educational program.
All my higher educational pursuits were undertaken on a part-time basis while I continued in fulltime employment. The hardest of which was being enrolled at the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies for two academic years, while being in fulltime employment in Jamaica. During that time, creativity and innovation took on new meaning for me as I requested permission from the Mona Campus to informally sit in on equivalent courses in Jamaica whenever I was not able to be in Barbados. The degree was a joint Mona/Barbados campus degree with the first year in Jamaica and the final two years to completed in Barbados.
VBD: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned since becoming a lawyer?
CHEREE: I have learned the importance of being prepared at all times, which simply means being equipped beforehand to complete each task.
VBD: How has COVID-19 changed the way you live?
CHEREE: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused me to become more reliant on faith in God to protect us from unseen viruses, coupled with the need for proper nutrition and hygiene. I have changed how I interact with people and my surroundings, and I have become more responsive to what is required to function and live in times of crisis.
VBD: What’s next for you?
CHEREE: I plan to continue developing professionally and personally while enjoying life.
By Icylin Morgan
Icylin Morgan is an educator at heart. She has held many positions in the education system including master teacher, guidance counselor, and principal. She gained a Bachelor of Education degree from Western Carolina University and a Master's in Education in School Counseling from Florida A&M University. She enjoys working in her community and is involved in several projects, clubs, and church activities. Icylin operates as the Curriculum Developer and Contributing Editor for Victorious By Design