1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Paralegal at Shoosmiths. My day to day role includes managing my own caseload, reviewing legal documents, drafting relevant particulars and other legal documentation, providing advice and support to clients in a timely manner, preparing client billing case status / financial reports, instructing and liaising with Counsel and attending court hearings.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes I have learnt a lot of new skills whilst being an apprentice at Shoosmiths, such as; legal drafting, client care, communication, teamwork, managing my own workload and working to strict client / court deadlines. My supervisor tasks me with lots of new, interesting work and research tasks, which we will review together and she will give me great feedback.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoy both the structured learning aspect of the apprenticeship, such as the webinars and visits with my tutor, together with the on the job learning. I have built invaluable experience and knowledge from the apprenticeship and I am hoping that I will be given the opportunity to progress my career through the firm by progressing onto the Level 7 programme.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My apprenticeship is very well organised and training is delivered in a professional manner to a very high standard. I benefit from range of on the job training, coursework, webinars and exams. I also meet with my tutor once a month where we undertake a full review of the work I have been completing towards the apprenticeship.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer, both my immediate supervisor and the HR department, are very supportive of both my studies and career development. My supervisor takes a very proactive approach and we often sit together to go through aspects of the work that has been set, which allows me to feel confident and well prepared for meetings with my tutor.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I receive a great deal of support from my training provider when working towards my qualifications. My tutor is always on hand to answer emails and calls when I need support. The resources my tutor provides me are also to a high standard which allows me to complete course to the best of my ability.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My qualification has allowed me to gain the confidence and skill required to take on more complex tasks in my role. The webinars I take part in on my course, and the coursework I am set are directly linked to my area of practice and so a lot of what I have learned has been put into practice in my role.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
I am an active member of the charity committee and have helped to organise events and fundraisers with the firm. The firm has a dedicated social committee who organise events throughout the year which I attend. I have also been made a fire marshal and have received training from St Johns Ambulance.
9a. Would you recommend Shoosmiths to a friend?
The firm is true to its values; pulling together, talking business sense, being within reach and responsive and taking initiative. You are provided with a great deal of support, such as monthly 1-1 meetings with your line manager and team meetings to keep up to date with the wider firm. The career progression is clear and you are supported by managers and HR. The people are what makes the firm what it is and everyone is very approachable and helpful.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Shoosmiths?
Do your research! Attend careers fairs and employer events and visit the Shoosmiths social media accounts run by graduate recruitment which gives great tips on the application process and what it is actually like to work for Shoosmiths. Stand out on the application form by being unique and having a real interest in the firm, ensuring there are no spelling and grammar mistakes. Apply for Summer Vacation Placements and work experience to give you the edge.
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