Apprentice Blog – Why I chose a law apprenticeship

Thursday 26th July 2018

Why did you decide to be become a legal apprentice?

I am often asked why I chose a law apprenticeship. The truth is I was never 100 per cent 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. An apprenticeship in law 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 it offered me the ideal alternative.

Is being a legal apprentice easy?

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 a large amount of self-discipline.

What is the best thing about being a legal apprentice?

I feel very lucky to be able to have achieved and learnt the amount I have throughout my first two and a half years. One thing 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 a law apprenticeship.

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.

Do you regret not going to University?

I get 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 years of my apprenticeship and the experience I am gaining 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.

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.

What sort of work do you do?

Admittedly, when I first started at Gordons, I wasn’t aware of 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 several portfolio transactions
  • Reviewing and reporting on leases and titles
  • Preparing title and contract packs
  • Dealing with pre and post completion aspects of transactions

Do you still have time for a social life?

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.