Legal administration apprenticeship led to a permanent position at global law firm

Tegan Duffy explains how doing an apprenticeship with Baker McKenzie has helped her to grow personally and secure a permanent position with the firm:

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

In my final year at school, I had the opportunity of a six-week internship at Baker McKenzie. I enjoyed the time I spent there, and at the end of the internship I asked to be informed about future opportunities. When I was contacted about the apprenticeship scheme Baker McKenzie was launching, I felt it appealed to the skill set I had already developed, alongside the knowledge that I had of apprenticeships.

What did you do during your apprenticeship?

I rotated through six departments over a two-year period, teaching me the administration and business skills required for a career in the legal industry while completing my Level 2 Diploma in Legal Administration. I supported PAs and provided a crucial service to fee earners, carrying out administrative tasks while getting the real-world experience of a global law firm.

I completed the apprenticeship six months early and was offered a permanent position within the firm’s secretarial services department.

What skills did your apprenticeship help you develop?

Throughout my apprenticeship I have been able to grow and develop my confidence, independence and organisational skills to help succeed in my career.  My confidence has grown especially with presenting to clients and work colleagues in the correct manner as well as gaining confidence to talk in front of large audiences.

My apprenticeship has motivated me to go above and beyond on everything I do to ensure that I am pushing myself to succeed.  It has also helped me to develop into a young adult and embrace new responsibilities. I have developed a professional attitude, a strong work ethic and strong organisational and time management skills.

Towards the end of my apprenticeship I was trusted to attend client meetings on my own and action clients’ requests without supervision, which I feel is testament to the training I received and the skills that I developed.

What was the best part of studying with CLS?

I think the best thing was that it helped me understand the legal administrator role better as you combine your studies with on-the-job experience. It also helped me learn different skills that I can use within my job role.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?

Definitely. I hope that other current and potential apprentices will be able to learn from my experience which shows that you can be successful without going to university, and that if you work hard enough it really does pay off.

I am involved in careers fairs by promoting the apprenticeship scheme that Baker McKenzie offers and speaking about my own experience as an apprentice.

I have helped to coordinate several large corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects at Baker McKenzie, as well as playing an active role in the firm’s social mobility focused staff network, BakerOpportunity, working with a number of young people through skills and networking-based activities.

I have also been assisting with the new intakes of apprentices, helping where required in the assessment centres and acting as a mentor to them guiding them through the office procedures alongside the qualification requirements, together with the general differences from being at school to being in the workplace.

And I have been involved in trainee training, which gave me the opportunity to speak to the new intake of trainee solicitors about my experience at Baker McKenzie.

What are your career ambitions?

I aspire to be one of the best PAs and the apprenticeship scheme has given me the foundation to achieve my goals as well as being a role model for apprenticeships.

Note: The Level 2 Apprenticeship in Legal Administration is being phased out by the government and has been replaced by the new Business Administrator Apprenticeship.