Apprentice Blog – Why I chose a law apprenticeship

Thursday 26th July 2018

I am often asked why  I chose a law apprenticeship. The truth is I was never 100% sold on the idea of going to university because I was ready to get stuck into the world of work. I was initially sceptical about apprenticeships because I didn’t want to be handicapped by not obtaining a degree. The Gordons Apprenticeship Programme offered me the ideal alternative.

I applied to university alongside everyone else in my school year and even received an unconditional offer from a Russell Group university. However, I also bucked the trend by researching and applying to a number of apprenticeships. The Gordons Apprenticeship Programme caught my eye. I saw that the Gordons Apprenticeship Programme offered me the ideal alternative.

During the application process, the first apprentice at Gordons had nearly qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive. That told me all I needed to know about the success of the programme, which has now seen the first two apprentices qualify and a further three apprentices on the last phase before qualification. That eased any fears I had about the risk of not doing the “done thing” and going to university.

Two years later, I have nearly finished my second year in the Commercial Property department. Admittedly, when I first started at Gordons I wasn’t aware what was involved in a commercial property transaction. Now, I am getting involved in all sorts of different types of work, including:

  • Acting for landlords, tenants, buyer or sellers
  • Drafting leases, licenses with clients, contract and other legal document
  • Advising and liaising with clients, other solicitors and third parties
  • Dealing with general property-related enquiries
  • Researching legal problems and finding solutions
  • Assisting colleagues with a multi-million pound refinancing deal
  • Assisting colleagues on a number of portfolio transactions
  • Reviewing and reporting on leases and titles
  • Preparing title and contract packs
  • Dealing with pre and post completion aspects of transactions

I am often asked whether I regret not going to university. The answer to this question is simple: absolutely not. The amount I have learned over the first two years of my apprenticeship and the experience I am gaining on a daily basis is unique.

Rather than attending lectures and applying to graduation schemes, I am working in a successful law firm with experienced lawyers on a daily basis. This gives me a fantastic opportunity to learn, develop and set the foundations for a successful career, which I can now see unfolding in front of me.

I feel very lucky to be able to have achieved and learnt the amount I have throughout my first two years at Gordons. One things is for certain: I would not have gained the hands on experience I feel is so important in shaping my career had I not taken the decision to embark on an law apprenticeship.

A common misconception is that, as an apprentice, you “miss out” on aspects of your social life. This has not been the case for me, far from it. Earning a salary gives you the freedom to enjoy your weekends and holidays as you please. There are regular work social events and nights out and I also really enjoy taking part in football games or other sporting events organised through work.

Apprenticeships aren’t for everyone. Some see apprenticeships as the “easy option”, but working full time and studying for exams to become a qualified lawyer is far from easy. It takes hard work, determination and large amount of self-discipline.

Taking an apprenticeship is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I would certainly recommend more young people look into the benefits and how they can provide a fantastic foundation to a successful, enjoyable and rewarding career.