My name is Liberty Amies and I have undertaken a two-week placement at Ellisons in the Family Department, based in Ipswich (Arcade Street). I am in my final year of Sixth Form at Diss High School, where I will sit my A-Level exams this summer. I am studying English Literature, Politics and Sociology. I am currently working towards taking language certifications in Spanish and Italian. Also, I’m a founding member of Diss Youth Council, a sub-section of Diss Town Council that works closely with the council, local businesses, and surrounding schools to advocate on behalf of young people in Diss.

I am an aspiring Solicitor, hoping to qualify via the apprenticeship route. A Solicitor apprentice will qualify in six years, which is tantamount to the traditional law degree/LPC/training contract route. But instead of student debt, a Solicitor apprentice will accrue; a law degree, six years of paid experience in a law firm, covered qualifying exam fees, early exposure to the industry and valuable connections, which I would argue sets the tone for a hugely successful career. Whilst balancing a demanding job and intense degree may not be the right choice for everyone, I am eager to enter the workplace and get started right away. I’m committed to becoming a Solicitor because I am driven by an inherent desire to help people, aided by a strong sense of justice and an unerring belief on the right to representation. I revere the multifaceted, dynamic nature of law and am excited about the prospect of working in a field with such variation and immense possibilities. Ultimately, I believe it is of utmost importance to find something you love to do so that you never have to work a day in your life.

What attracted you to the Vacation Scheme?

I have been following Ellisons closely on the company website and on social media channels as I will be applying to the Solicitor Apprenticeship this year, which is where I discovered the opportunity to undertake a two-week placement with the firm. My time at Ellisons gave me an invaluable insight into what day-to-day life would be like at the firm and what a future career in law may look like. I have also known I would be applying for the Solicitor apprenticeship for quite some time so I was eager to get a real taste of the culture of the firm.

What have you worked on during the Vacation Scheme?

During my time at Ellisons, the vacation schemers have enjoyed a packed schedule including inductions to various areas within the firm, client care and ethics training, a mock hearing, a solicitor apprenticeship Q&A, creating mock attendance notes, practicing commercial property drafting, a mock interview and writing this very blog post. However, in true Ellisons style, aptly adhering to the firm values (‘The Ellisons Way’) we have been given the opportunity to ‘work hard and play hard’ by way of lunches with the Solicitor apprentices to a mock networking event with afternoon tea. I’ve been extremely fortunate that I’ve been trusted and encouraged to complete various tasks within my department, for example, drafting attendance notes, updating financial disclosures, and writing chronologies to aid barristers in court. I’ve even attended client meetings which has given me a first-hand experience of how the law inextricably intertwines with our everyday life and may define our most vulnerable moments.

What do you like about Ellisons?

Many workplaces preach about the importance of a friendly, positive culture but Ellisons has perfected this ideal in practice. They truly embody their values and are a quintessential example of a firm that understand the significance of cultivating a welcoming and encouraging dynamic. I’m blown away from the kindness I’ve received from every person I’ve encountered. Especially from the perspective of a Vacation Scheme student, who are often left on the side-lines, Ellisons boasts a flat structure where I’ve felt comfortable being able to talk to or pose questions to anybody, from the (senior) partners to associates, it is incredibly humbling and proves that Ellisons has a kind, friendly culture. My first inkling that Ellisons is an extra special firm was through the current Solicitor apprentices who I reached out to on LinkedIn prior to the Vacation Scheme. They have been incredibly helpful and inspiring; confirming that Ellisons hires people who reflect their principles.

Would you recommend the Vacation Scheme?

I absolutely would recommend participating in Ellisons’ Vacation Scheme or seizing any opportunity to do legal work experience. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the vacation scheme and it has provided me with crucial internal experience of the firm, the work they carry out and the people that work there. It has also given me a glimpse of working life and has confirmed my aspirations to become a Solicitor apprentice at Ellisons. It has also enabled me to build on my skills, for example, my time management skills. This is a very important attribute of a Solicitor apprentice who will juggle full time work and a law degree. Since I am about to take my A-Level exams – before I started work each day I would revise at a nearby café. This was an incredibly useful experience and arguably very similar to the type of work/study balance I would have to find as an apprentice. The Vacation Scheme has also helped to develop my communication skills, managing a workload and prioritising tasks for Solicitors. I’ve made some lovely friends and I’ll miss coming into work each day – I cannot thank the lovely people at Ellisons enough for giving up their time and for making our two weeks so enjoyable.

Find out more about Ellisons Vacation Scheme and apply here.