Apprenticeship with a national housing association – Ellena Bedford, Accent Group

I have been a Level 2 Legal Administration apprentice for the Accent Group for sixteen months, and expect to finish the programme within the next two months.

I applied for the apprenticeship because I wanted to be earning whilst still studying. In addition, I never thought about university because it didn’t appeal to me at all but I knew that I wanted a career in law.

Before applying for the apprenticeship I considered a full time place at college but I wasn’t really interested in any of the courses that they were offering and I didn’t particularly want to spend every day at college – I wanted to earn and learn at the same time.

My apprenticeship has been fantastic and I have had experiences beyond my expectations. It is really valuable to work with fully qualified solicitors that you aspire to be like, to see the sort of work they do and understand the pressures and importance of their duties.

I have been working alongside a conveyancing solicitor and have been given tasks to carry out on the files. I have also used the Land Registry Service to obtain titles and plans for some queries that have come to the Legal Department. This experience has helped me to realise that this is the area that I would like to pursue further.

On occasions, I have helped out the litigation solicitors by copying court bundles for them. This has saved them valuable time and has also taught me how important it is to check that you have the exact amount of copies required and that all the copies have the correct number of pages. Missing court papers would look very bad in court and therefore it is a duty of ours to ensure that there is everything that is needed for that case. I have even had the opportunity to attend court on an occasion which I didn’t expect on the Level 2 Apprenticeship!

I have had a large project at my place of work which is to maintain the archiving system. This has been a good experience as it has given me the chance to create my own electronic spreadsheets to record paper information on a system for the rest of the team to access when they need, and to also make it easier for myself when I need to collect those files and documents.

I have had ample opportunity to develop at my place of work and having my own projects has made my work more interesting. I enjoy carrying out new tasks as they often give me experience and life skills that I can use in the future.

If somebody was to come to me now I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to them.

I am currently trying to find a vacancy for a Paralegal Apprenticeship so that I can continue working in the legal sector at the end of my Level 2 Legal Administration Apprenticeship. I aspire to become a solicitor eventually and specifically want to build up my career through working and learning.

This post was published as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017