Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week: Beth Stevens’ Apprenticeship Journey

1. How did you start your apprenticeship journey?

I was accepted by the University of South Wales in 2016 to study a Law degree with the Legal Practice Course included. I decided to defer my place and look for an apprenticeship in a legal setting to see if law was something I definitely wanted to go into. I found the Legal Admin and Paralegal Apprenticeship vacancies at Ashfords and the rest is history! I applied for both and was successful for the Level 2 Legal Admin apprenticeship. After finishing the apprenticeship, I secured a permanent position as an LSA in Company Commercial and started my Paralegal apprenticeship in 2018!

2. How did you find beginning your career with Ashfords?

Everything was really straightforward and the people were really supportive (and they still are!). I started in a cohort of 7 apprentices back in 2016 and the cohort gave good support and the opportunity to bounce off of each other. It was also interesting to see what the Paralegal Apprentices were doing in comparison, as I knew this was where I wanted to progress to once I had finished my first apprenticeship.

3. How have you found balancing studying and work?

It depends on how busy the department is! It can be hard to balance, but if you are willing to put the time and effort in you will be able to find the time. My team in Corporate are great at being adaptable and allowing me extra time to complete my coursework. My coursework is also checked by an Associate before I submit which is really beneficial for my learning.

4. What do you enjoy most about the apprenticeship route?

I enjoy the apprenticeship route into my chosen career because it has given me time to learn what is expected, how to work in an office environment and approach clients and colleagues. I think I would have struggled with these aspects if I had come straight out of University into work.

5. What type of work and clients are you exposed to in your department?

The clients in the Corporate team are usually directors and shareholders of businesses which include some recognisable names! However we also handle matters for family members looking to restructure a family business and share and asset sales. The work I am exposed to is high quality and this has broadened my experiences of what a future as a qualified legal professional could involve.

6. How has your role developed since you began your Legal Admin Apprenticeship?

My colleagues are now happy to give me work and allow me to get on and do it independently. I definitely feel trusted to complete the tasks they give me. This might include drafting documents for example, but working as a full time LSA as well as completing paralegal studies has certainly brought more variety to my workload.

7. Why did you want to continue with an additional apprenticeship?

I knew in college that law was the area of work I wanted to go into and when the opportunity to complete the Paralegal Apprenticeship came up it made sense to grab the opportunity that Ashfords had given to me. I like how the apprenticeship route has allowed me to see the law in practice without having to commit to Uni. By the time I finish the Paralegal apprenticeship later this year, had I have gone to Uni, I would have just graduated! Instead, I have 4 years work experience under my belt of working in a law firm. And the added perk is no debt!

8. How have you found the difference between the Legal Admin and Paralegal apprenticeship?

The Paralegal apprenticeship involves more webinars and learning materials than the Legal Admin apprenticeship, with the added bonus of exams! The actual work on the job is very similar, as I am an LSA doing additional Paralegal work and this has made the transition much easier.

9. What are your career aspirations after you have finished your paralegal apprenticeship?

I want to continue to work as a Paralegal for a while longer to gain even more experience and devote myself to the role full time, rather than splitting LSA and Paralegal work. I am considering the CILEX route to qualify as a qualified legal professional – and have a break from the exams!

For more information please contact The Apprenticeship Team.

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