Read on to find out how he’s finding his start to a career in law, moving away from home for his apprenticeship, and his biggest challenges, highlights, and advice to date. Perfect reading for those thinking about a career in law for themselves.
looked at going to university but the idea of being completely study-based was
something that, personally, put me off. After being in school for so long, I
realised the best way for me to learn was to be hands-on, as well as in a
classroom. I knew that being able to combine the two would be better for me, in
trying to facilitate the knowledge that I was getting from classroom learning,
and then actually being able to put it into practice.
wasn't sure about which route I was going to go down when I was at school. I always
loved studying business, so I looked at careers in this sector. I saw that
working in the legal industry, and especially in the firms I was looking at,
meant that you’d be able to work with businesses across so many industries and
sectors. That was really appealing to me.
I was looking at firms, I did my research and investigated the different
opportunities. At the time of applying, apprenticeships were new in the legal
sector. But I saw how much BCLP cared about their apprentices on the programme,
and I knew I wanted to be at the forefront of bringing apprenticeships into the
wider view of students. Also, being one of the two of the first apprentice to start in the
Southampton office was really appealing.
How was it to be the first cohort in the Southampton offices?
been an interesting experience. It’s been great talking to the lawyers in the office
who previously didn't know much about this career route. And for me and the
other apprentices, being the first ones in the staff, it's meant that we've
been able to inform them on what we do, what we can do, and what kind of things
we're really interested to learn about. That's been helpful for them as well, to
understand what we're doing.
first seat was in legal admin, which was a very good introductory seat. As I’ve
never worked in a law firm before, it was great to get to grips with the
systems, forms, and administrative side, and it’s left me with a good basis
going forward. I will be moving teams this week to my next seat. So, we're traveling
up to the Manchester office tomorrow to do all our training and meet the new
How often are you required to go to the Manchester office?
travelled up to the Manchester office when we first joined the firm. There are
more apprentices in that office, so they wanted to make sure that we were
integrated with the team, and able to meet everyone before we joined the team
in Southampton. Since then, this is only our second time traveling up. But
we've spent some time in the London office as well, so it's been interesting to
get to network with more people. And because there isn't an apprentice scheme
in the London office, it's been nice to talk to them about what we do and
answer their questions as well, because it's a very new concept for them.
personally think it's really good. Everyone seems to be keen to learn about the
apprenticeship. Especially the solicitors that have been in the firm and the
industry for a while. They’re keen to talk to us about what we do and what the
structure of the programme is like. There is a lot of curiosity, but that then
turns into support, as they’re all keen to make sure we get to grips with
everything and understand what we’re doing. They know that we’re right at the
start of our careers.
What does a normal day look like for you?
of working in legal admin, a lot of the things that we do are on a case-by-case
basis. We deal with incoming and outgoing posts, making sure that things have
been uploaded to the right system, and have been given to the right people. We
also send out completed documents and make sure that we're filling out the
right forms and sending checks to be completed by another team, such as
What has been kind of the biggest highlight so far?
think for me, it was being involved in a campaign at work called ‘Our Voice’. This
was where a few apprentices were asked questions about the work we do, what
struggles we’ve had, and what things we’ve learned. Then this was sent around
to the whole firm during National Apprenticeship Week. It was a great campaign
to showcase the apprentices, get our voices out there, and tell people that
we’re here to learn, grow, and contribute.
And have you had any challenges?I
think, for me, it's been the adjustment to being in an office environment but
studying at the same time. I also moved away from my family for this
apprenticeship. And while, in general, it hasn’t been a massive struggle for me,
it's been a big change in my life.
How has it been to move away? Has having the support network at BCLP
made it a bit easier for you?
I think it was definitely a big change, and a bit daunting, coming into it. But
it’s great being in the office every day. Everyone is supportive, and always
there if I need to chat. It’s not just people in my own office, either. I have
regular catchups with apprentices in the other offices that aren’t even in my
cohort! So, it’s nice to have that community of people who are all rooting for
you and will always help if needs be.
A six-year programme is quite a big commitment. Did you have any
concerns about the length of it whilst you were applying?
me, I wasn’t necessarily concerned. A career in law will take a long time no
matter what route you go down, so six years didn’t seem too long. When you compare
it to doing a university degree, and then a training contract, and SQE
preparations, doing an apprenticeship was a no-brainer, as I would roughly take the same
amount of time going down the more traditional route anyway.
Do you have any advice for anyone who's either considering an
apprenticeship or is currently in the thick of applying for one?
key bit of advice for people is to look around. There are so many opportunities
out there so read up about what options there are. A lot of schools will focus heavily
on university, and I think it's easy to follow what the schools tell you but remember
to focus on what is best for you. That is the most important thing.
learn more about Jacob, as well as the rest of our GetMyFirstJob Apprentice
Ambassadors, click here. And to
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