CUMBRIA’S first solicitor apprentice has urged others to consider a non-traditional route into law as she celebrates 12 successful months in the role.
Holly Moxon set off on a Degree Apprenticeship with leading firm Cartmell Shepherd last year as she pursued her long-held ambition of becoming a lawyer.
Now the 21-year-old says she has no regrets about leaving university in favour of a work-based path towards her ultimate career goal.
“It’s been a fantastic year,” she added. “I’ve really enjoyed it.
“It’s definitely been hard work to fit in the coursework at the same time as working and learning in a legal environment, but I’ve achieved so much.
“The law is often different in practice and theory, so being able to learn both at the same time has been very beneficial.”
Holly secured a place to study law on a full-time degree course in Liverpool but returned home to Carlisle after realising university life was not for her.
It was when she was researching alternative routes into a career in law that she discovered degree apprenticeships.
Holly approached the team at Cartmell Shepherd, which has six offices across Cumbria and Northumberland, to ask if they would consider supporting the role.
She is now on track to becoming a fully qualified solicitor within six years – the same as someone who completes a university-based degree, the Legal Practice Course and a two-year training contract.
Keen to inspire other young people to consider apprenticeships, Holly has also undertaken a series of informative talks about her role at local schools and Carlisle Young Ambassadors events.
The former pupil of Nelson Tomlinson School and Trinity Sixth Form said she was happy to share advice about life as a solicitor apprentice.
“You have to be organised – because the pace of learning every week is very fast – as well as being self-disciplined because you’re responsible for keeping up with your work.
“Six years is also a long time so you also need to be dedicated to what you’re doing.”
But Holly added: “I’ve never looked back. The team are so supportive and I’ve been able to get on the property ladder this year too.
“This route won’t be for everyone. It’s hard to fit all of the work in, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.
“I’ll also have six years of experience in the workplace at the end of it which is invaluable.”
The move into a workplace-based course has paid dividends for both Holly and Cartmell Shepherd, with its senior team now considering the roll out of more solicitor apprenticeships in the future.
Peter Stafford, managing partner at the UK 200 Group legal firm, said: “We were impressed by Holly’s initiative when she brought the proposal to us.
“Solicitor apprenticeships have until now mainly been provided by larger city firms but we could see no reason why it shouldn’t be something we offered here at Cartmell Shepherd.
“Holly has been a great addition to our team and has worked hard to complete her first year of study.
“We’re passionate about investing in high quality training and development for all of our staff, along with recruiting local people with talent and potential.
“The apprenticeship route serves both of those criteria very well so this is certainly something we would consider again in the future.”