• Employer
    Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Provider
    BPP Professional Apprenticeships
  • Levels
    Level 7 (Higher or Professional) Apprenticeship
  • Apprenticeship Job Title and Employer
    Senior Solicitor Apprentice
  • Training Provider and Qualification
    Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship
  • Apprenticeship Date
    Sep 2017
  • What are your interests outside of work?
    I enjoy watching football, playing 5-a-side and going to the gym. I really like to spend time with family and friends and going travelling. During the past year, I've also started watching and becoming more interested in Formula 1. 
GetMyFirstJob Ambassador

Hello, I Am Bradley

he/his

My firm has been so supportive to me and have given me countless opportunities to progress and develop, not just as an apprentice but also as a person.

Tell us more about your experience

In my day-to-day role, I assist clients in drafting and negotiating their legal documentation. I’m currently based in our Core Asset Management team within our Real Estate department. I spend my days drafting agreements for leases, leases, licenses, and wayleaves amongst other documents. I also correspond directly with clients via telephone and email, and deal with the opposing party’s solicitors. Additionally, I assist my colleagues within the team on their matters, alongside handling my own caseload.

At my firm, apprentices rotate through various teams. I was previously based in our Structured Finance team and was tasked with taking on a leading role in an interest rate reform project for a major European energy supplier. The project included drafting over 50 amendment agreements to our client’s finance documentation – this meant I had to negotiate directly on their behalf with numerous global banks in the US, across Europe, Singapore, and New Zealand. I had to manage the project myself and keep the client updated on the progress.

The partner in my team entrusted me with a lot of responsibility and gave me the reins in leading the project and discussions. When it came to completing the amendments, this occurred within the span of a few days, so I had to coordinate with the client and the banks involved to ensure everything ran smoothly – it was hard work but worthwhile. After, I received some extremely positive feedback from key stakeholders with the client, as well as internally from my team.

“I’ve had several moments where I’ve made myself proud in my apprenticeship, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one!”

I’m fortunate enough to say that I’ve had several moments where I’ve made myself proud in my apprenticeship, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one! My firm has been so supportive to me and have given me countless opportunities to progress and develop, not just as an apprentice but also as a person. However, if I had to pick one it would be when I was promoted to Senior Solicitor Apprentice in early 2021. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work and going above and beyond what was expected of me. To be recognised for that was pretty special and I was speechless when my manager told me!

I decided to do an apprenticeship after applying to both university and apprenticeships while in college. I visited several universities on open days and was set on studying law. I was impressed with what universities had to offer, but when I started to look into legal apprenticeships and attended assessment centres, I realised it was the route for me. The combination of 7 years of experience, working at a top international law firm, obtaining a degree, and earning a wage without any debt was an incredible opportunity.

Having seen what BCLP has to offer in terms of diversity of work, clients, opportunities, and so many fantastic colleagues meant when they offered me a role in their firm, I couldn’t say no! If I could give advice to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship, it would definitely be to do your research and believe in yourself. When I was looking for roles, I used GetMyFirstJob to search for a variety of opportunities. It’s good to scope out what’s available to see what might suit you. Have a good look into what employers are offering and the qualifications you’ll obtain, to see if it’s the right fit for you.

“Maintaining a strong sense of confidence and self-belief will go a long way in your apprenticeship.”

To come out of college and go straight into work and balancing that alongside university and your personal life is a big commitment at a young age. I found that trusting I had the ability to succeed and accomplish my aims went a long way in helping me secure my apprenticeship and aid me in making really good progress on the programme itself. There have been some hardships during my apprenticeship, however.

I faced a very challenging time in September 2019, just as I was promoted from Legal Apprentice to Solicitor Apprenticeship, and I was moved from Real Estate into the Structured Finance team. I was daunted by the prospect of going into a different team, where no apprentice had been before, especially as I knew my university commitments would step up in difficulty too. I struggled with my confidence and didn’t think I had it in me to succeed. However, my employer has a dedicated apprenticeship manager who oversees us. She is our go-to if we have any issues or just want to talk.

I had several conversations with my apprenticeship manager, and she was so receptive and understanding of how I was feeling but reminded me of how well I’d done to get to that point. This new experience would just be another formative step in my career. My apprenticeship manager has given me great advice on having faith in myself and my abilities and that I had the full support of everyone at the firm. Through talking about it and receiving support, I took the plunge and made a fantastic success of my time in my new team. I proved to myself that I can overcome big challenges and make it out the other side a better lawyer and stronger person.

“I’ve taken on challenges to prove to myself that I can make it out the other side a better lawyer and stronger person.”

Our apprenticeship manager will set the rotation plan for different teams and keeps track of our progress. We also have a network of supervisory and knowledge development lawyers who check our work and help us develop our skills. All of these support facilities help you to settle into the firm and let you know where to go if you have questions or want to learn more about a topic.

My training provider is also supportive, they hold termly review meetings to discuss academic progress as well as our job role. I’ve found these useful signposts to see how far I’ve come and what I might need to work on to improve. There’s an apprenticeship manager at the provider who oversees apprenticeships and is there to answer any enquiries we might have.

After my apprenticeship, I see myself qualifying as a solicitor and remaining within my firm. My employer is great, and they’ve invested so much in me; I look forward to repaying their faith and helping the firm progress even further.

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