My apprenticeship: the perfect first step of my law career
Katy Love chose an apprenticeship at Gowling WLG because she wanted – and needed – an alternative to university. Here she explains why her apprenticeship was a perfect match for her skills and interests and why she wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as a fantastic start to a career in law.
While I was at sixth form, I began to look at alternative routes into the world of work. I was really interested in completing a higher level apprenticeship, as I wanted to continue learning while earning a salary and without taking on a huge amount of university debt. I based my apprenticeship searches on what I enjoyed – being creative, geography and my A level in Law, which I loved studying.
While doing my research I was lucky enough to discover the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) apprenticeship scheme, and even luckier to find the Gowling WLG advertisement. I applied, completed various tests and interviews, and before I knew it, I had arrived at the Gowling WLG offices on 28 September 2015! I couldn't believe it when I found out where I had been placed in the firm – the Housing Development and Regeneration team – because my favourite part of geography is learning about urban growth and regeneration! It just felt perfect.
Positive client feedback puts everything in perspective
And that 'perfect' feeling didn't stop there. My apprenticeship at Gowling WLG has been an extremely enjoyable experience. I feel well equipped in my role, taking on my own files confidently thanks to the excellent training provided by my team. The CILEx study programme is challenging yet enjoyable and is definitely an excellent route into law for those who might not wish to attend university, or like me, simply cannot afford to. The support that I've received from the firm and CILEx has been excellent, allowing me to feel fully settled in my role. I always enjoy receiving positive feedback from clients, as it really puts the work that I'm doing into perspective!
Freedom and independence to break the stereotypes
When applying for the apprenticeship, I understood what the CILEx studies would entail, but felt a little uncertain about what my day-to-day work would be. The common perception of apprenticeships is that the roles are all admin based. I'd never heard of legal apprenticeships before so subconsciously I believed the stereotype. I definitely didn't think I'd have as much freedom as I do in my working day – so the fact that I have such a high level of independence is really exciting.
I was also delighted to find out I had actually taken on the role of a fee earner. From the day I started I have been looking after my own files and contacting solicitors and clients directly. The ability to have such freedom with my everyday interactions has definitely been a surprise – but a very pleasant one indeed! I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship at Gowling WLG to anyone who is interested in getting fully involved in firm life, as you work with some of the UK's biggest companies and learn from some outstanding lawyers.
If Katy has inspired you to find out more about apprenticeships at Gowling WLG, you can discover all you need to know on our Apprenticeships page.