A day in the life of a legal apprentice – Ben Bennett-Williams, Clyde & Co

An alternative and cost-effective entry into the legal sector

I did not feel that I was well suited to the normal university route as I have always learnt better by doing rather than listening but I knew that I wanted to work in the legal field ever since I did work experience at a criminal law firm. I began researching different ways into law and after months of research I came across two law firms offering the advanced legal apprenticeship. I then did my research into what this involved and what opportunities it produced and I knew this was what I wanted to do.

I considered going straight into a normal job to try and save money and make a law degree affordable however I still had the concern that I would not be as successful as desired if I went to university. I also looked at alternative programmes however I would not have been able to afford the tuition fees.

A wide range of day-to-day activities

I complete a wide range of tasks on a day to day basis, as most people do within the office. This ranges from general admin tasks such as filing and copying that everyone has to do, to research tasks and completing court documents. Even when I am copying documents this gives me a chance to read things such as medical records and intelligence reports which fascinate me. I have also had the opportunity to do things I never thought I would do as an apprentice such as go to trials, hearings and also go to the scene of accidents.

Throughout my time at Clyde’s the work has become progressively more challenging and is pushing me to improve my work and knowledge constantly. I find the work I do at Clyde & Co very interesting as each case is completely different and the way we approach each case changes also. I did not think I would gain the responsibilities I have and I am very proud of how far I have progressed since I started.

A great networking opportunity and a chance to prove myself

Through the apprenticeship I have met amazing contacts in the legal world. I have worked on cases alongside partners and assisted them with different matters, which was a great experience. I have also gained a large amount of experience and knowledge. However the biggest thing for me is it has allowed me to have an opportunity to prove myself to Clyde & Co and show that even though I haven’t been to university I can still complete the work and show that I am a hard worker determined to have a career in law.

The apprenticeship put my career into my own hands

I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who, like me, knows they want to have a career in the legal world. I would recommend this route as I believe it makes you stand out from others who have completed the normal route to qualification. I also believe it gives you that chance to prove yourself and gain the trust of the firm you are working for. An apprenticeship puts your career in your own hands: if you work hard and show your firm how good you are you will more than likely be supported throughout your route to qualification. There is also the obvious benefit of having no debt and an income throughout the scheme.

It has solidified my ambition to pursue a career in law

I do expect to stay in the legal sector when I finish my apprenticeship. This is because I have known since day one that I want to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive. Once I have completed my apprenticeship my first aim will be to be kept on at Clyde & Co. After that I would like to continue my exams and continue the route to qualification. If I can get funding for this through Clyde’s that would be amazing and if I cannot then I will have to find a way to pay for it myself.

This case study was published for National Apprenticeship Week 2017