I am Olivia Baker and am currently studying Business, Maths and Psychology at A-Level as well as completing an EPQ, a 5000-word academic essay, on the causes of false confessions. I intend to apply for the Solicitor Apprenticeship at Ellisons and am currently taking part in the Vacation Scheme. This blog aims to provide an overview of the brilliant two weeks I have spent at Ellisons.
What attracted you to the Vacation Scheme?
I would like to take part in a Solicitor Apprenticeship in the future and whilst researching firms that offer this, I found Ellisons. Whilst on their website, I came across their Vacation Scheme, a two-week programme over Easter which aims to give an insight into a legal career. Reading their description, I was drawn to how they were offering a broad range of activities including practical work within their legal departments. I thought this would be a great way to gain knowledge of how a law firm runs, the sort of work they do and how it suited me as well as gaining work experience.
What are your ambitions?
I aim to become a Solicitor through a Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme, hopefully at Ellisons! Law has always been a career that I have been drawn to and I feel the Vacation Scheme has helped build my confidence and solidified my interest. I want to work in law because it is ever changing and so requires continuous learning and remains interesting. It is challenging and stimulating and requires both intellectual and social skills. I like the fact that it requires problem solving but also involves helping people.
What have you liked about Ellisons?
The culture coming into Ellisons was extremely friendly and welcoming. I have been made to feel comfortable by everybody I have met during the tasks and around both offices I have been to. Any questions I have had have been willingly answered. I have really enjoyed working with the people at Ellisons who have all been so kind and really gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and included, even inviting me on walks at lunchtimes!
What have your weeks at Ellisons consisted of?
The Vacation Scheme has consisted of lots of different tasks which meant we could see the varying work that goes on at Ellisons and have an experience of lots of different tasks within just two weeks. Across the two weeks we were stationed in a department, for me this was corporate and commercial. Initially I was given an overview of the department which was extremely insightful and made me excited for the coming two weeks. I was set different tasks whilst in the department such as research tasks, reading documents that my supervisor Ed Manning had reviewed, looking at specific laws and how they apply to certain business situations and shadowing both Ed and a trainee in this department Shanice Claridge-Lawrence. I found it really interesting to learn about corporate and commercial and everyone was really nice and supportive.
The first day was used to introduce us to the systems we may have to use and give us a summary of the functions of the business including marketing, HR, IT and finance. This gave a great overview of the firm we were to be part of for the next two weeks. It was also really nice to meet and get to know the other girls on the programme who were all lovely and as a group we went on to help each other with tasks and become friends.
During the Vacation Scheme we had the opportunity to meet and speak to lots of people within Ellisons. Everybody was extremely friendly and welcoming. We had a Q&A with the Solicitor Apprentices, an apprenticeship overview from BPP and an example lecture from two of the apprentices on client care and ethics. This was really helpful and insightful and gave the opportunity to ask any questions. The apprentices were really engaging in both the Q&A and the mock lecture making these fascinating and interactive. We also had a lunch with the apprentices after the mock hearing and a chance to network at an afternoon tea.
We were also had a chance to do practical tasks during the vacation scheme. We were set tasks from different departments. For family we sat in on a mock client meeting and were asked to make an attendance note for this. For commercial property we were set a research task and a task drafting documents including a lease. These were really interesting as they showed us the everyday work done at Ellison’s whilst also giving an insight into the different departments. For both tasks the people running them made themselves available for any questions we had and provided feedback which gave a greater understanding of the work we had done. We were given the opportunity of a mock hearing with the Solicitor Apprentices. We were split into two groups representing either Transport for London or the appellant Harry Potter. We were then given the opportunity to prepare in our groups before taking part. Whilst I don’t find speaking in front of a group of people natural, I found it really enjoyable. It was a really valuable experience to help build confidence and get experience in arbitration. We also had a mock interview which provided valuable feedback for further opportunities.
Would you recommend the Vacation Scheme?
Yes, I would definitely recommend the Vacation Scheme. It is great experience for anybody looking to go into law either through an apprenticeship or through university. It has been really enjoyable meeting lots of interesting and friendly people. It also provides the chance to do lots of tasks both practical and learning from others which really give an insight into a career in law. It is a really valuable experience for anybody excited about law.