Paralegal apprentice at Irwin Mitchell

Start Date:
2016
Location:
West Midlands
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
Review Date:
March 2018

Review Score

9.4/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

10/10

I work as a paralegal apprentice in the serious injury team, we deal with cases worth £25,000 or more. I get involved in a variety of tasks, I speak to clients on the phone, draft witness statements, organise expert appointments, help disclose documents, attend conferences and many other things. I work in quite a big team and get involved helping everyone.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

10/10

I believe my communication skills have developed massively as well as my confidence. I am naturally a quiet person but speaking to clients, experts and defendants allows me to become more confident and communicate with people better. I have also improved my drafting skills and learnt new drafting skills when it comes to documents like witness statements.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I really enjoy the apprenticeship programme that I am on. Everyone I work with understands my position within the team and I get a lot of support from them as well as from assessors and tutors who focus on the academic side of my apprenticeship. I feel really comfortable in my role and find the work I do very interesting.

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4. How valued do you feel by Irwin Mitchell?

10/10

I feel very valued by other members of my team. I work in quite a big team and a lot of members are grade A fee earners so I think they like having someone who is of a lower grade to assist them on matters; it is also a really good opportunity for me to learn and I think the team understand that and are always providing support.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

5/10

I believe the structure of the programme has improved over the past 18 months which I have been here. Occasionally I feel as though they aren't very organised and it can take a while for information to reach the apprentices or some changes can be made last minute. I would appreciate it if they set everything in stone from the beginning so we know what to expect.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?

10/10

I feel as though I receive a lot of support from CILEX. I have an assessor who I keep in contact with regularly and she covers all aspects; work in the office, exams, competency criteria I need to cover, etc. Additionally, the tutors I have for my exams are also very helpful and I would feel comfortable calling or emailing them if I needed any help.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?

10/10

I receive a lot of support from my employer, especially members of my team. I get treated fairly and equally by the firm and no one looks down on me because I'm an apprentice and quite young compared to others in the office. People I work with always check up on me and ensure that my apprenticeship is going ok and they always ask whether I need any help. Again, I would feel comfortable going to someone for help at this firm.

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7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?

10/10

For me personally, my salary meets my costs fine. I still live at home so I do not have as many expenses as other people and I am unsure how well my salary would cover my costs if I were to move out; however at the moment my salary is sufficient for things I want to do.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

10/10

My firm gets involved in a lot of different activities that are very inclusive and allow anyone to join in. They host yoga sessions, have a social committee, a charity committee, do charity events, hold business development activities that I am able to attend. There are a lot of things to get involved in.

9. Would you recommend Irwin Mitchell to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

I think it is such a good opportunity to earn a full time wage, get experience of a full time job and to see what it's like working in an office and to get invaluable academic knowledge. It is a good way of seeing whether this is the kind of job you want to do as opposed to going to university for 3 years only to find out you don't enjoy your job. It allows younger people to get there foot in the door in terms of their experience which is so important and that is what employers look for.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Irwin Mitchell?

Everyone that applies for this job has good grades so it is important that you stand out and show why you're different from everyone else and why you think you would fit in well at this office. It can be daunting applying for a full time job however people understand that this is most likely your first full time job and they are very understanding of that. Even if you don't get the job it's good to get experience applying for them as that will help you in the future.

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