Sasha Heath - Senior Paralegal and Chartered Legal Executive Apprentice
'I have been a Paralegal in the Company & Commercial department at Smith Partnership for 5 years and I have been studying with CILEx Law School for 3 years.
I completed the Paralegal Apprenticeship which primarily focused on Contract Law and Civil Litigation. I have also studied the Law of Tort, Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation, Land Law and Residential and Commercial Leasehold Conveyancing.
Regardless of my commercial background, I particularly enjoyed the Criminal Law and Criminal Litigation subjects...who doesn’t enjoy a good crime documentary? Whilst completing those particular subjects, it didn’t feel as though I was studying. I had a genuine interest in the topics covered, needless to say, I will be staying true to my commercial roots.
Since completing the Paralegal Apprenticeship I have become a Senior Paralegal with the firm. I appreciate the recognition and I feel the hard work is paying off.
I am currently working through the Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship and this is where I take qualifying subjects. The subjects I have chosen are Company & Partnership Law and Employment Law. Completion of this qualification results in a Chartered Legal Executive Fellowship.
I was interested in the apprenticeship route for a number of reasons. I was already in employment with Smith Partnership and (luckily) working in the department I was keen to qualify into. There is no need to apply for a training contract with the apprenticeship route and this stability was one of the deciding factors for me. I considered all the options and decided the apprenticeship route suited my circumstances.
An important benefit of the apprenticeship is the experience I have gained whilst studying. I feel the experience has been an invaluable aid to my studies and my understanding with the various topics.
Another important factor is the qualification being fully funded. It means I am able to qualify as a lawyer without the cost that usually goes with it and receive a salary at the same time.
Would I recommend an apprenticeship? Yes! I can't think of many 'cons' of the apprenticeship route, although everyone's circumstances are different and it is good to weigh up the various options.'