Apprenticeship with an award-winning law firm – Emily Barnes, Hill Dickinson

I am 18 months into my legal apprenticeship at Hill Dickinson, an international, commercial law firm.

I had never studied law or even had a job before starting my apprenticeship. I wish I had known that the whole apprenticeship scheme was designed to help me develop and learn everything I needed, and therefore that I did not have to worry about my lack of experience!

One of my best apprenticeship experiences has been having my own files to handle and subsequently winning my first Employment Tribunal case. Seeing the client cry with relief and be so grateful towards me for all the work that I had done was an immensely rewarding experience. Similarly, I have been given the opportunity to give presentations at local schools and colleges regarding my experiences and helped to encourage students to make informed choices regarding their future careers.

The other day I met the CEO of the firm and he asked me to give a presentation regarding my apprenticeship experience to a prospective client. I did not expect to have such a huge opportunity as part of my apprenticeship.

My apprenticeship has been an invaluable springboard for my career. It has allowed me to establish myself within an international law firm and have them invest in my development. I have gained invaluable practical experience which has allowed me to develop essential skills in order to become a good lawyer. Similarly, I have been given incredible opportunities as part of my apprenticeship which have definitely enhanced my professional and my personal development.

My career prospects are now exponentially higher than they would have been if I had taken an alternative route into law because of the personal and professional development I have gained.

This case study was published for National Apprenticeship Week 2017