YOUNG VOICES

Meet England's First Ever Legal Services Higher Apprentices

08/01/2014 15:52 GMT | Updated 26/03/2014 12:59 GMT

Thought legal services apprenticeships didn't exist? Think again.

Weightmans LLP, a top 50 national law firm, took on the country's first-ever legal services higher apprentice in the country in May 2013 in its Liverpool office.

The two higher apprentices, Jordan Coulton and Natassia Sinclair, work with associate Jon Gregson and the company’s learning and development manager, Sarah Hardy-Pickering.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Natassia described a typical day at Weightmans as "quite busy and challenging".

"As I only started my two year Apprenticeship at Weightmans at the end of September 2013, I am still carrying out many administrative tasks. These tasks initially involved filing, logging of post, opening of new files and logging these details into the database.

"I also carry out cheque request forms, settlement forms and enter key dates onto case plans. However, after 8 to 10 weeks of working here I started to be given more responsibility from the fee earners in my department, for example, I have been reviewing important documents such as; occupational health records, medical records and personnel records.

She added: "I decided to become an apprentice because I knew that I wanted to be a successful lawyer. I believed an apprenticeship offers me the best route into the profession. I particularly liked the idea of combining academic and practical experience in my route to qualification as a legal professional. I prefer to learn on the basis of a ‘hands-on’ approach which I feel gives me a deeper understanding of the law and the way Weightmans works.

"Becoming an apprentice was ideal for me because I am a reflective learner and I felt that this practical approach will help me to gain the skills I need to contribute as a fee earner within a firm."