As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Apprentice Solicitor, Millie Bell shares her experience and why she chose the apprenticeship route to qualification as a Solicitor.
What drew you to the apprenticeship route at Ellisons?
Solicitor apprenticeships provide an alternative route into the legal sector for aspiring Solicitors who want to choose a different path to that of the traditional university route.
Solicitor apprenticeships offer the opportunity to “earn while you learn” and gain invaluable experience that cannot be taught in a classroom. I knew that I wanted a route into qualification that would give me exposure to hands on experience and allow me to study at degree level. The apprenticeship is approximately 6 years which is similar to that of the university route, but you do not incur any of the university expenses.
Furthermore, an apprenticeship allows you to network with professionals and work closely with experienced colleagues in your team who can provide substantive support and guidance.
I knew I wanted to work for Ellisons due to the firm’s incredible work ethic and outstanding client reviews. As well as being a leading law firm within the Legal 500, I believe that Ellisons provides a multitude of great opportunities for those wanting to progress their career in law.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
The Solicitor apprenticeship route is becoming an increasingly recognised way to start a career in law. With its growing popularity, there are a multitude of resources available entailing how the programme is structured and the types of tasks an apprentice could undertake. Don’t be afraid to connect with current apprentices to ask more about how the apprenticeship scheme works.
The Solicitor apprenticeship is a 6-year course, and whilst this can appear daunting at first, it demonstrates your dedication to becoming a Solicitor. Throughout the 6 years you will have gained an invaluable insight into the inner workings of a law firm, as well as obtaining a law degree, so do not let the timeframe hold you back.
What has been the biggest learning curve for you?
The biggest learning curve for me has been learning how to manage my time effectively and achieve the work/life balance. It is a common misconception that apprentices do not have the same social experiences to that of a university student.
During the allocated study day every apprentice is assigned to a class in which they can engage with other apprentices across the country. As most lectures are online, this allows you to create connections with people who work in different sectors of law.
Within BPP there are also numerous networking opportunities that allow apprentices to get to know one another.
What are you enjoying the most about the apprenticeship at Ellisons?
Having just completed a childcare module within my study programme, I have enjoyed seeing how learning and applying the law has continued to assist with my day-to-day jobs. Understanding the reasonings behind why certain decisions are made has elevated my confidence within family law.
Moreover, by having constant support from my team, I know I am in an environment in which my career and legal knowledge will flourish. I am incredibly fortunate to be working with colleagues whose dedication is inspirational.
What attracted you to a career in law?
What attracted me to a career in law was that no two cases are the same. New challenges are presented with every case which, in turn, allows for personal progression. Law governs a great majority of our lives, and I knew I wanted to be involved in this ever-changing field.
A career in law is intellectually challenging, personally fulfilling and rewarding.
What does a typical day for an Apprentice Solicitor look like?
My role is to assist my colleagues within the family department. This could include attending client meetings, collating documents for Trial Bundles, attending Court Hearings or Conferences, as well as administrational and financial tasks.
A typical day will often start with going through emails and creating a to do list for the day. This is important to ensure that my workload is prioritised effectively. Thereafter, my work typically involves typing out emails and attendance notes as well as liaising with clients.
The files that I work on range from divorce and financial matters to complex children cases. Therefore, no day is ever the same and I am always learning and expanding my skillset.
Our six-year Solicitor Apprenticeship programme is aimed at school leavers who have completed A Levels or equivalent studies and are looking to embark on their career in law whilst gaining invaluable experience at a leading regional law firm. Find out more about our Solicitor Apprenticeship programme here.