Disputes and Resolution

Day In My Life As A Solicitor Apprentice

ellie cliffe day in my life as an apprentice solicitor

As a Solicitor Apprentice, the idea of studying for 6 years is intimidating, but once you discover that no day is the same, the worry disappears! I am almost 6 months into my apprenticeship and have so far been working in Dispute Resolution. I am excited to visit each department in the firm over the next 6 years, especially because this range experience is unattainable via the traditional degree route. I am lucky to have the opportunity to achieve a degree in Law and take the SQE exams, whilst earning and not accumulating student debt. Here is an insight into my typical day as a Solicitor Apprentice.

Tuesday 9:00 – 9:30
The apprenticeship course is designed in a 20/80 split, with 1 day for online study at the University of Law, and 4 days in the office. As Monday is my day dedicated to study, I often have lots of emails waiting in my inbox on a Tuesday morning. After I review my emails and diary for the day, I make myself a to-do list.

9.30 – 11:00
I respond to some client emails and get started with a task set by Senior Associate Solicitor, Katy Rider. She has asked me to assist her in drafting a client’s witness statement using their notes and comments. I make sure this is correctly formatted and accurate before sending it back to Katy to review. Katy swiftly responds with her checks, so I email the draft document to the client for their approval.

11:00 – 11:30
Head of Dispute Resolution and Director, Karl Wilson, invites me to sit in on a client meeting. The meeting lasts approximately 30 minutes, and we discuss drafting a letter to the other side in a property dispute matter. With approval from the client, Karl allocates this task to me under his supervision.

11:30 – 13:00
Following the meeting, I get started on opening this new matter on the firm’s system. I draft all the relevant paperwork including the client care letter and send these out to the client along with a request for identification documents.

Next, I discuss with Karl the key elements to be included in the letter. I then get started and complete the first draft. I send this over to Karl for his approval, before heading on my lunch break.

13:00 – 14:00
My activities during lunch time vary day to day. Today it is a sunny winter’s day, so I join 3 colleagues on a 30-minute walk to stretch our legs. We visit the supermarket and then return to the office to eat our lunch and chat in the office communal kitchen.

Today is the day of my first Uni review! Every 12 weeks I sit down for a video call with my ‘Skills Coach’. We go over my grades and discuss targets for me to work on over the next 12 weeks. These reviews are very important to make sure I am on track academically and successfully balancing study and work. Karl Wilson, my supervising solicitor, attends the meeting for 20 minutes to let my coach know how I am progressing in the office and my coach assures him that I am doing well at university. The feedback to the firm is important as they have invested in me and my future!

15:30 – 17:00
The rest of the afternoon flies by. The draft witness statement sent earlier is approved by the client, so I finalise this and then send it over to them to be electronically signed. Karl has also had time to review my draft letter, so I make the relevant amendments and send it to the client for approval. I print off certain documents and add them to their respective paper files to make sure I they are up to date when there is a new development in each case. I do a final check of my emails and speak to both solicitors about anything that has come up via any phone calls or work they need me to start on tomorrow. This brings my day to an end! Always busy, and no 2 days are the same!

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