Paralegal Apprentice at Irwin Mitchell

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

Review Score


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


My role is mainly admin at the moment, with the view to increase legal work as my apprenticeship progresses, with some bits of legal work. I take responsibility for managing several team projects, being first point of contact for clients, housekeeping and billing and also assisting the team with preparing and drafting responses and documents for clients

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


Yes, I have learnt a lot during the course of the apprenticeship so far, both academically and professionally. I have learnt a lot about Employment law through the team and through CILEx and I have also learnt a lot in terms of communication and conduct within a professional team. With the help of CILEx and our internal training, I am now able to understand basic employment law queries and draft responses.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I really enjoy the programme. I enjoy being academically challenged by the CILEx side of things as well as being stretched by the requirements of the job. I feel that I am very well supported and everyone I have come across could not be more helpful. The team is great and CILEx have been really helpful too. I was shocked by how challenging the course is alongside a full time role but I still enjoy both elements.

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4. How valued do you feel by Irwin Mitchell?


I feel really valued by the team and firm that I work for. There are high expectations to reach but I feel that I am valued and praised for the work that I have done and also being constructively criticised to be able to progress further. I am involved in all large projects within the team and my line manager is always looking for ways to help my professional development and involving me in team projects.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The CILEx qualification is very well structured and we get one exam per exam session with teaching and preparation beforehand. However, this does not always work well with the CILEx Law School as the schedules overlap sometimes. I receive one day study leave out of the office per fortnight which works really well. I have a lot of support with both the practical and academic elements from CILEx and my team I work with.

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


I have an assessor who is always available to assist with any queries, either related to the course or not. I have received a lot of support from them with reference to future progression and my options after the apprenticeship. They are always helpful and wanting to help and are easily accessible either by email or phone. There is transparency between CILEx and Irwin Mitchell which is useful.

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


I receive a huge amount of support from my employer, I have been helped and supported with each issue that has arisen over the last 18 months. The whole team is supportive and helpful but my supervisor goes above and beyond to ensure that I am okay and happy within work. I have had extra help with exam preparation and my supervisor could not be more helpful.

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


My salary is high in comparison to other apprenticeships and enables me to travel a significant difference to be able to have this opportunity. My pay has been reviewed several times throughout the duration of my apprenticeship which has meant that I remain in line with the costs of living and travelling.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There are lots of training events and networking events available, as well as several social events (both firm wide and team wide) to celebrate successes within the firm and the smaller team. There is CSR opportunities available and a lot of work is done for charities local to the office to support those less fortunate.

9. Would you recommend Irwin Mitchell to a friend?


9b. Why?

It is a great opportunity to be able to understand how the legal world works without already having incurred debt. It is an opportunity to gain experience ahead of those at university as well as beginning the path of career progression. The obvious benefit is earning a decent wage throughout the apprenticeship.

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

I would give advice to remain open minded about the apprenticeship and not compare it too much to university as they are very different routes. The main task is to remain confident and communicate clearly through all stages of the application and selection process as the assessment is nearly all based on how well you do / will present to clients.

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