Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular way to embark on a career in the law, and here at Parker Bullen we have recently launched a Paralegal Apprenticeship as well as a Solicitor Apprenticeship.

Chris Smith, who joined us as a Paralegal in May 2022, has this month begun his SQE Apprenticeship and tells us here why he chose this particular path and how the firm and his colleagues are working with him along his journey.

Which apprenticeship are you currently completing?

There are a couple of options relating to the apprenticeship to become a Solicitor.  The SQE apprenticeship that I am doing is essentially a ‘short course’.  For those who have a completed a degree and have already done six months of qualifying work experience, this is an option to become a Trainee Solicitor for 18 months, which is known as the qualifying work experience.

There is another Solicitor Apprenticeship for those who do not have a degree but wish to become a Solicitor via a different route.  This six year apprenticeship combines the LLB Law degree, the SQE1/2 and qualifying work experience.

What motivated you to pursue an apprenticeship?

There were several reasons but for me it was the appeal of specialising in one area of law rather than completing the traditional seats of a training contract, where you would move department every 6 months.  As I knew the area I wished to qualify in to, it seemed like a natural route for me.

Why did you choose a career in the law?

Originally, I was pursuing a career in teaching and in particular teaching religion. In my first year of undergrad at the University of Chichester I took a compulsory module of ‘Law and Society’ and from year 2 I had moved to the LLB Law degree and never looked back!

Why have you chosen Private Client as your field of expertise?

Private Client lawyers are able to develop quite a professional but personal relationship with their clients which can be on-going from writing their Wills to administering their Estates. I, therefore, have chosen Private Client as my area of expertise to build close relationships with clients and have the pleasure of working for clients and receiving their appreciation. Everyday an opportunity arises to learn something new!

What interests or skills do you hope to gain through your apprenticeship?

I hope to develop the skills already learnt through my time as a Paralegal here at Parker Bullen to the point of taking my own clients and meetings.

What aspects of the legal field are you most excited to learn more about during your apprenticeship?

Client care is one area that interests me; there are many law firms that our clients could go to, but we believe it’s the service we offer that keeps our clients returning to us and leads to more people being referred to us.  Working in Private Client is a very delicate area and striking the balance between professionalism, approachability and friendliness is one that I aim to perfect through my apprenticeship and learning from my colleagues.

What do you think are the benefits of a legal apprenticeship for someone who wants to become a Solicitor?

The practical nature of an apprenticeship certainly has its benefits; you are not only learning the law, but you are putting it into practice while also earning a living.

How do you think an apprenticeship will benefit you compared to other forms of education or training?

For applicants considering the full Solicitor Apprenticeship of 6 years, there is no student debt, no intense studying at weekends or late in the evenings after lectures and your part time positions in the local café. The Solicitor Apprenticeship provides the time to learn the law and to learn your expertise all whilst getting paid.

What are your long-term career goals, and how does your apprenticeship align with them?

To qualify is the first hurdle and after that remains a mystery, for now!

Why did you choose Parker Bullen for your apprenticeship?

The team in Private Client are very supportive and genuinely want to see everyone succeed. Parker Bullen is very diverse and allows many entry routes into law from Solicitors through the traditional LPC to now the SQE; Solicitor Apprenticeship and the Chartered Legal Executive route. Parker Bullen has a door open for everyone.

To find out more about our Solicitor Apprenticeship and Life at Parker Bullen, explore our website or express your interest to Gareth Horner at moc.n1713931260ellub1713931260rekra1713931260p@ren1713931260roh.h1713931260terag1713931260.

Our contributor

Chris Smith

Trainee Solicitor

View Chris's Profile

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