As it is National Apprenticeship Week I thought it would be helpful for anyone looking to start an apprenticeship to share my experiences so far in completing the Solicitor Apprenticeship with Cartmell Shepherd and BPP Law School.
The Solicitor Apprenticeship was introduced in 2016 as a new route into law and very recently marked a successful 3 years of the scheme, I am a part of the 3rd cohort of students to enrol onto the apprenticeship programme in 2018.
While it may seem a bit daunting to take on a 6 year apprenticeship in Law if you haven’t had any experience in the industry before it is a very worthwhile and cost effective way to qualify and has many benefits compared to the traditional University route, but it may not be for everyone.
I am now about half way through my second year of the apprenticeship and have completed seats in Dispute Resolution and Personal Injury. The great thing about an apprenticeship is that you are getting all the benefit of a law degree combined with 6 years’ worth of real life experience working alongside qualified Solicitors starting from day one. The skills and tips that you pick up in the office on a daily basis are incomparable to what you can learn reading from a textbook.
That being said, it can be difficult to balance your studying with your working week, and you will need to become very organised and self-disciplined. I am allocated one day every week, a Monday, to work from home and complete my reading, online lectures and online tutorials as a standard part of the apprenticeship. Leading up to exams I receive study leave and at extremely busy periods I am allowed to take some extra time to get my studying done. As long as you are actively managing your workload and know your own capabilities then you can effectively balance your weeks.
The most obvious benefit is that it will not cost you a penny to do the apprenticeship, better yet, you actually get paid to do it! Compared with the extensive fees that it costs to go to university for the same degree it is a no-brainer.
The apprenticeship is not just beneficial to the apprentice though, it will also be of huge benefit to my employers from a business perspective in that when I qualify as a Solicitor I will be able to hit the ground running with 6 years of on the job experience under my belt.
If anyone has any questions about the apprenticeship please feel free to contact me by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
By Holly Moxon Trainee Solicitor