Jessica is a Level 3 CILEx apprentice in Shoosmiths' Commercial Recoveries team, based in Manchester. She joined the firm as a level 2 apprentice and hopes to continue learning while she works, and progresses through the firm.
Why did you apply for an apprenticeship at Shoosmiths?
I left school with a good set of GCSE's under my belt and enrolled in sixth form to study A-levels in Politics, History and English Literature. Whilst studying three A-levels and working in a part-time job, I realised that I could pursue a successful career in law without attending university and whilst being paid for learning on the job. With this in mind, I began searching for an apprenticeship in the legal sector. I found a vacancy at Shoosmiths on their website and after researching the firm, I knew that this opportunity, with such a reputable firm, would be a great start to my legal career.
How has your career progressed since starting your apprenticeship?
After a year of study and work, I have completed a level 2 diploma in legal administration. I wanted to stay with the firm, so I applied for the internal position of paralegal apprentice. I had an interview with a senior associate in the Manchester recoveries services group (RSG), luckily my interview was successful and I joined the commercial recoveries team in September 2017 specialising in landlord / tenant litigation and property disputes.
In the last six months in commercial recoveries, I have built great working relationships with clients. I have developed invaluable litigation experience and I am confident running a file from start to finish. I was also given the opportunity to experience a day out of the office with a High Court Enforcement Officer which further developed my knowledge of the industry. Our small team is growing and developing every day and I am extremely excited to be a part of it.
How do you find it to balance working and studying?
As part of the paralegal apprenticeship, I attend a one hour webinar two days a week. Our new office provides break out spaces where I take a laptop and attend the webinars with no distractions from work. I also have monthly assignments from my tutor, which my line manager is extremely supportive of. We often go through assignments together before they are submitted, where she helps me grasp a more in-depth knowledge and apply what I have learnt to the work we do every day. As long as you have good time management and organisational skills, you will never struggle to balance work and studies.
What's the best thing about working at Shoosmiths?
Definitely the people. I think it is so important that you have great relationships with the people you work with, as you spend so much time together. I feel really supported from both my team and the wider firm and really enjoy coming to work.
What's next for you?
I still have another year and a half of my current apprenticeship until I qualify as a paralegal. Shoosmiths is a very supportive firm, so I hope that my apprenticeship will help me to progress my career with Shoosmiths even further, and that I'll continue learning along the way.
For someone who is interested in an apprenticeship, what should they do?
I'd recommend having a look online to see what type of firm you'd be suited to working in. Then research how the path into law will work for you. If you think it will, then have a look at these websites for more information: