Our new Paralegal, Molly, has plans to start her Paralegal Apprenticeship in September. After carrying out all this research, she decided that an apprenticeship would be the best fit for her.
She has put all her newfound knowledge together and written a blog, to help those who may also be thinking about applying for an apprenticeship.
Whoever said university was the only way to get a career in law clearly didn’t know where to look! The most important thing you could do when looking at different routes is the research. Luckily; we’ve already done that for you (arguably the easiest part about getting an apprenticeship).
There are several routes that you could follow to gain a career in law; starting as an admin assistant or taking a look into becoming a conveyancer as this doesn’t require a law degree or any other degree for that matter! If your dream career is to be a Solicitor, the good news is that you can achieve this by doing a degree apprenticeship. However, apprenticeships are the new up and coming trend when it comes to getting a law degree. In recent years, according to Gov.uk the Government website, higher apprenticeships continue to grow in 2022/23. Higher apprenticeship starts increased by 6.2% to 112,930 compared to 106,360 in 2021/22.
There are several benefits and drawbacks to apprenticeships especially depending on the career you want to go down; you just have to make sure you do your research about whether this route or career is good for you.
Here’s all you need to know:.
What to expect
Apprenticeships can take a range of years depending on the career and end qualifications you receive, for the most common apprenticeships for law; a paralegal apprenticeship is 2 years while a solicitor apprenticeship is 6 years. The biggest selling point of an apprenticeship it that you earn while you learn, this is because 1 day a week is dedicated to your study however it is up to you to revise and prepare for exams. The other 4 days of the week you will most likely be working in the office giving you the ability to put your learning into practice. Apprenticeships strengthen your time management skills and your ability to work well in a team environment.
Finding the perfect fit
Finding the perfect law firm for you is half the challenge, there are millions of law firms around the world however once you take into account location and whether the firm actually provide apprenticeships you are left with a very small percentage of places to apply to. That is why you have to make sure the law firm specialises in the type of law your interested in and that the company’s values match up with your own, this is different for everyone, but this step is not one to miss out as you have to be happy where you are during your 2–6 year apprenticeship.
Bulking up your CV
Work experience of any kind looks really good on your CV, and it gives you more things to talk about during the interview process. Gaining work experience within a law firm is like finding fairy dust (it’s extremely rare and potentially a myth!) did you know work experience doesn’t have to be in person, you can take part in virtual work experience from free companies such as Forage, you can even use company specific open days (both in person and on zoom) as work experience, this is essential especially if you are planning on applying to that company.
Work experience doesn’t even have to be career or subject specific as having a part time job teaches you skills that employers look for. As long as you can put a positive spin on work experience in an interview put it on your CV!
The Hands-On Advantage
One of the most enticing benefits of apprenticeships is the hands-on learning experience they offer. Forget about mundane lectures and theoretical jargon; apprenticeships throw you right into the thick of things, allowing you to get your hands dirty (or clean, depending on the job!).
Ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? Apprenticeships are the ultimate networking playground. You’re not just gaining skills; you’re building a network of professionals who could become your future colleagues, mentors, or even business partners. It’s like a professional family reunion, minus the awkward small talk.
Finding a job
One of the best things about apprenticeships is that you will hopefully already have a job waiting for you when you qualify from your apprenticeship as an employer spends valuable isn’t going to spend all that money and time to train you up and help you with the start of your career, however even if the apprenticeship doesn’t end with a job you are guaranteed to end up with very valuable skills and a qualification. All of these factors will make it easier to gain other jobs in the future if you ever want to leave that career or company.
Another important factor is that you get all the same qualifications as you would in university without any of the debt! One downside to this is that completing an apprenticeship may take longer than university but that is because you are working while learning instead of just learning.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Apprenticeships are not universally available for every industry. Some sectors embrace this learning model, while others stick to traditional educational routes. If your heart is set on a niche field, finding the right apprenticeship might be like searching for a needle in a haystack.
So, whether you’re gearing up for an apprenticeship or simply intrigued by the prospect, remember this: your journey is uniquely yours. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and let the world be your classroom. The apprenticeship adventure awaits – are you ready to take the plunge?