solicitor apprentice

Abigail Wilson – Solicitor Apprentice

Abigail recent completed her business administration apprenticeship at JB Leitch and is now undertaking a solicitor apprenticeship with the University of Law.

How has the apprenticeship improved your life?

Since becoming an apprentice I have achieved successes in my career that I did not think would be accessible to me, particularly having exposure to complex cases in my workplace and working closely with experienced solicitors. Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, I am starting to plan a career path in my organisation and move towards my next qualification, which is not something that I thought I would be able to do a year and a half ago.

How will the apprenticeship training continue to impact on you in the future?

The learning aspect of my apprenticeship covered topics that I can apply to my job as a paralegal, such as the focus on project management and communication skills. In particular, managing and implementing a process improvement project as part of my apprenticeship encouraged me to build relationships with a diverse group of people in my organisation and has given me the confidence to engage in more new projects being undertaken by the firm.

How has the apprenticeship impacted on your organisation?

Recently I have been involved in a discussion with managers in my organisation and other apprentices about how the firm can best support us as apprentices. We have had very collaborative conversations about how support can be provided within our individual teams and further meetings have been arranged to implement an improvement strategy – it’s great to see that my organisation are focusing on providing apprentices with so much support.

How has Damar’s approach to training contributed to the impact of the apprenticeship on you and your organisation?

As an apprentice you’re responsible for managing your progress and preparing for your end-point assessment, but the coaches at Damar are really engaged during this process and I always felt comfortable reaching out to my coach outside of our scheduled sessions when I felt like I needed some extra support. Damar have also set up a forum between all of the apprentices on the course which was frequently used to share learning techniques, revision methods and ideas for our end-point assessments – having open communication with other apprentices made the experience a lot easier.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I had postponed going to university at the start of the pandemic and in that time I began to research the different pathways into law. I quickly realised that choosing to qualify through an apprenticeship would provide me with exposure to practical learning experience which is a really valuable skill for me to have starting off in my career, especially while achieving my qualifications simultaneously.

What activities do you do in your day-to-day role?

Primarily I support various solicitors in the management of their cases. A usual day’s workload can include drafting statements of case, preparing trial bundles, drafting and submitting application forms and regularly corresponding with our clients – it is far different from what I was expecting I would be doing as an apprentice, which I thought would involve photocopying and making coffee!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Definitely the environment. I have been given so much support from my organisation in my role and I have reached a position where I am completing work that I never thought I would be asked to produce as an apprentice.

What are your future career plans?

I have recently been enrolled in the solicitor apprenticeship programme which is run through the University of Law. The apprenticeship will start from September and last about five and a half years, and by the end of which I will be a qualified solicitor. Progressing on to a higher-level apprenticeship was the most natural and beneficial option for me and I’m really excited to start!