CILEx careers

Case Studies

Apprentice Case Studies

Watch our short video case study by lawyer-to-be Danielle Owen who undertook a legal apprenticeship.

Benjamin Bennett-Williams
Clyde & Co Solicitors

Benjamin Bennett WilliamsEver since I began AS Law in college I knew that I wanted to work in law, however due to being dyslexic I didn’t think university would suit my way of learning.

I started researching into alternative ways to qualify as a lawyer and came across the CILEx legal apprenticeship. This was the perfect solution as it gave me hands-on experience and allowed me to get my foot in the door at an international law firm. 

I have now completed the CILEx legal apprenticeship. I am in the process of completing my Level 3 CILEx exams and plan to go onto the Level 6. I have over two years of experience and I am now a paralegal at Clyde & Co. 

At Clyde & Co I assist the file handlers with the day-to-day running of their files. This can be anything from drafting legal documents to sitting in on conferences.

If you are like me and don’t think university would be suited to you, then I would highly recommend the legal apprenticeship as a route into law. Experience is so valuable in the modern world and once you get your foot in the door and show you’re committed and hardworking you can go as far as you want to with CILEx.

Abbi Lavill
Legal apprentice
Gowling WLG LLP

Abbi Lavill

Despite not being sure what I wanted to do when I left school, one thing I was sure about was that I didn’t want to go to university; instead, I wanted somethingthat meant I could get a head start on everyone else in the world of work, earn a salary and, ultimately, use those three years to get my foot in the door of a firm and start carving out a career for myself. I started looking at apprenticeships as an alternative after one of my friends told me about CILEx. And after several aptitude tests, a phone interview, and a formal interview and securing the required grades, I was offered a position at Gowling WLG where I’ve now been working since September 2015.

My day can consist of anything from drafting and reviewing documents to attending all-party meetings and site visits. The work is incredibly varied, and it’s so satisfying to see the things that you’re studying come alive in what you’re doing day-to-day; it really helps to motivate you to keep learning and makes the work you put in seem all the more worthwhile.

If university isn’t something you’re interested in, then don’t convince yourself that it’s right for you purely because it’s considered ‘the next step’ . Remember that there are other options out there for you, and so far the CILEx route has been perfect in helping me to achieve my goals.

Damilola Muyi-Opaleye
Step2Success programme

I love the fact that I'm working and learning at the same time as I'm a very hands-on learner. Being able to put what I'm learning in practise is amazing as it reinforces my knowledge. I definitely prefer it this way as I have a guaranteed job and I'm able to get qualifications alongside it.

When I finish my CILEx qualifications I won't have to struggle to look for a decent job. Law is so competitive and training contracts are so hard to get, there's no way I could've turned down the opportunity to accept a place on Fieldfisher’s Step2Success programme. Also, my qualifications are being paid for, so I've escaped the debt of university which is a big relief.

Now that I work full time, I’ve learnt to utilise my weekends a lot more. I still have my evenings, but I make sure I enjoy my weekends as much as possible. I use some of them to visit friends at their different universities so that way I’m not really missing out on the university experience.

Samuel White
Legal Apprentice
DAC Beachcroft

SamuelI have lived by myself since I was 16, and funded myself through college. I worked to pay my rent whilst studying full time.

I was always unsure if I wanted to go to university, the CILEx route was a really good alternative. I am now working in a large international law firm whilst gaining a professional qualification. This is incredible because the competition for placements through the traditional route is fierce.

During my first few months of employment, I assisted on several matters for our large insurer clients. I am given a wide variety of tasks covering all aspects of a claim. I have also been given the opportunity to work with more senior colleagues on high value cases, to gain invaluable experience on how to deal with complex issues that can arise during a claim.

I would definitely recommend to anyone who is considering a career in law, to consider the Legal Apprentice route via CILEx. I have bypassed the need for university and gained priceless legal experience.

Leah Harrop
Legal Services Apprentice
Horwich Farrelly Solicitors

Once I discovered my interest in law, I did worry as I thought university was a necessity. Being away from home, lectures and student loans weren’t appealing so when I came across the idea of a Legal Services Apprenticeship, I decided this was the right route for me. I liked the idea of earning a salary whilst gaining nationally recognised qualifications that would cost thousands if I were to go to university.

Horwich Farrelly were not advertising for an apprentice so I wrote to the Chief Executive and informed them of the programme. Two months down the line, I was at my very own desk with my very own telephone!

I am a few months into my apprenticeship now and I am already a much more confident person. This is due to the knowledge I have gained but also because I am communicating with so many different people.

I have been told that I will be handling my own case load very soon, which is great! To be given the opportunity to be trusted with my own files is a huge achievement.