Case study

Solicitor apprentice — Blaise Lamport

Blaise is working and studying towards a Level 7 solicitor degree apprenticeship at Jisc. Learn more about why she chose this route and what her apprenticeship involves

Why did you decide on a career in the legal field?

I always knew I wanted to go into law, and my family also mentioned that it was a field I would do well in, as I was a strong debater growing up, and good at looking at facts objectively.

Law is more than that and it becomes more complex as you study it, but I knew instinctively that it would be something I was suited to, especially with the academic side of it.

Why did you opt for an apprenticeship over other routes?

I knew I didn't want to go to university, which is why I did a gap year originally. I wasn't aware that legal apprenticeships were so widely available. I thought it was something mainly offered in places like London, so I didn't start looking properly until a friend I went to school with mentioned applying for some, so I did the same.

How did you find and apply for your Jisc apprenticeship?

I actually found my apprenticeship through the Prospects website.

Tell us a bit more about your solicitor apprenticeship.

My apprenticeship involves one full study day a week, which I chose. I try to keep it consistent but it is subject to change based on when I have university lectures or when work events get scheduled. Then four days of working.

The study side is similar to standard university, with set 'terms'. There are three terms a year and we cover one topic per term, although as you go through the apprenticeship, you might be asked to cover two topics at the same time. A term is ten weeks of study, not including any weeks off for holidays. Throughout the ten weeks, we do six assignments just for personal development. We also do one mock per term and then a final exam, which contributes towards an overall grade.

What's a typical working day like for you?

At Jisc you can work flexibly, but I chose to do a standard 9am-5pm day. This involves both project-based work and matter-based work.

For project-based work, I work with other colleagues and have multiple meetings per week to progress.

For matter-based work, the legal team use software where the business can submit matters or legal queries and an individual, or multiple members of the team, can assign themselves to complete the matter. I work closely with my manager on these and use his guidance to decide which matters to pick up and progress.

Describe your apprenticeship in three words.

  • interesting
  • challenging
  • new.

What part of your apprenticeship do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the social aspects, such as the team meetings, travelling, new opportunities and the business and legal events. This social aspect also happens at university through summer school.

What's the most challenging part?

Balancing study and work. Getting into a consistent routine and being able to self-motivate.

What three qualities are important for a legal apprentice?

  • perseverance
  • organisation
  • resilience.

What are your career ambitions?

I would like to become a judge, so the apprenticeship will help me get necessary legal experience, and also get the legal knowledge required, such as case law, which plays a big role in being a judge. It also allows me to build connections in the legal field.

Jisc also offers volunteering days, which allow me to go and participate in court shadowing.

What advice can you give to other aspiring apprentices?

Make sure you research the company you would like to do an apprenticeship with before applying to make sure you are a good fit for their working environment, as where you work has a big impact on your studies and ability to flourish.

Set realistic expectations before you start and understand that it will be difficult at certain points.

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