Carley Raikes – Paralegal Apprentice

Carley tell us about why she became a Paralegal Apprentice.

“I became a mother at a young age and worked in McDonald’s for several years before becoming a staff trainer for the company. My mother worked in conveyancing at Stephensons, and I learned about the firm’s apprenticeship scheme through her and the firm’s website. I wanted to make a big change in my career, so I applied for a Paralegal Apprentice position and started in February 2019.

“Working in the clinical negligence department, I support its nine solicitors and am supervised by the department head and mentored by another member of the department. All three of us meet monthly. I undertake my studies through Damar Training, and I did further courses in maths and English to upgrade my knowledge of these subjects. The firm ensures that I’m not interrupted during my study time. Before lockdown, I worked in one of our meeting rooms where I have my webinars, but sometimes I took work home too, and I have study leave for my exams. I’d definitely recommend a legal apprenticeship to others, and may think about a solicitor apprenticeship in the future.”

Carley was Apprentice of the Month in May 2020. Her trainer said:

“Carley represents an increasing number of current legal students who joined law at a later age and already have families to support financially and emotionally. This is a challenge in itself which Carley manages as she carefully plans her time within work and also outside work to ensure she satisfies the apprenticeship requirements at every stage. 

“Carley completed all four functional skills exams within the first six months of the apprenticeship. She has also learnt a new role, adapting from working in retail for a long time to working within an office, to the extent that she is training others within a year.”