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Jessica O’Brien – Legal Admin Apprentice

“I hope that this apprenticeship will lay the foundations for me to grow my career onwards.”


Jessica completed this case study at the start of her Legal Admin Apprenticeship at Sutherland & Co Law.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Throughout sixth form I knew I wanted to look for an apprenticeship because although I was able to manage my time and focus on my studies, I wanted a more hands-on job that gave me real life experience. I did look at university as an option due to covid as I knew businesses would be struggling to hire during this pandemic. However, I knew I preferred to earn and learn at the same  time. I feel sixth form definitely gave me a helping hand in being able to manage my time well and prioritising tasks.

What particularly appealed to you about the business admin apprenticeship with Sutherland and Co?

I did A-Level Business and this was the area I was looking to go into when searching for an apprentice role. Sutherland & Co Law came up on the government website and caught my eye because their reviews were all five star with people complimenting how great a team they were to work with. Another reason this company’s page interested me is that they allow room for development within the business and encourage you to stay on with them to gain higher qualifications. This stood out as it seemed like a company that wasn’t going to let you do your apprenticeship and then drop you as soon as it finishes.

What do you hope to achieve with your apprenticeship?

I hope that this apprenticeship will lay the foundations for me to grow my career onwards. I also hope I achieve transferable skills that can be used anywhere I may go. Speaking to clients on a regular basis will give me more confidence and personable skills that I can use both in and out of the workplace.

What do your parents think about you doing an apprenticeship?

My parents are very supportive people, and have encouraged both me and my brother to follow whatever makes us happy. Throughout my time at sixth form they knew that I was looking for a more hands-on role when I left as using all my time, like I would in a university, to study was not the path I wanted to continue. Having my brother going through sixth form and then onto an apprenticeship I think made it easier for me to be able to do this as there were less unanswered questions for  them.

How was your first week?

My first week was eye-opening. I have never worked in an office before, only part-time retail jobs so it was definitely exciting to see something different. The staff here are all very friendly and courteous towards each other which is nice as it made me feel comfortable in the new environment. During this first week online webinars were the centre of focus as learning the laws to work in the firm is essential. It was interesting to learn laws that I didn’t even know existed.

Describe the person you want to be at the end of the apprenticeship – what skills, knowledge and behaviours do you hope you will have developed?

At the end of this course I hope I have achieved my qualification and have proved myself as an asset to the company enough to stay on and develop further skills. Deeper knowledge about business admin but also about what goes on within a law practice is definitely something I hope to gain. In terms of behaviors, I hope that my communication skills, both written and verbal, will improve and along with that comes confidence. I would like to be a person that is able to build relationships with people even if that may be via email or phone by improving my tone and vocabulary.