I chose an apprenticeship due to the opportunity for on-the-job training whilst getting a qualification; with the bonus of getting paid rather than a debt from going to University. I liked the idea of studying but mainly working because it means I can build relationships with people in the firm which will essentially help my future career within Pinsent Masons.
I went through a competitive apprenticeship recruitment process where at some points I didn’t think I was going to make it to the next stage, but then I got the call! When I was offered an apprenticeship after the interview I was pretty shocked. I felt like I needed to be more prepared changing from the sixth form chilled out life to a London city law firm; no more half terms and more bills to pay. To be fair, I was overthinking it but it was a big change to me and different to what I had ever done before. It felt official… I’m an adult.
I joined at a good time in the year (around Christmas time) because of the many social events going on. This meant I was able to introduce myself to people in my department, not only under office hours but also outside of work. In my first week, I attended the yearly CAD (Construction, Advisory and Disputes) conference which helped me to create a good first impression with people I would essentially be working with in the near future. This helped me massively as I didn’t feel as nervous in my second week to go up to colleagues as I had already met through the conference.
I’m so grateful for the people who I sit with in the department who have been so friendly and welcoming; I didn’t expect to make friends the way I have. Building relationships is definitely a big tip I would suggest to future apprentices because not only will it help you career-wise in the long run but also enjoy work even more. The train, however, is something which can make or break a morning with delays, cancellations and not getting a seat for a 50-minute journey. Joy!
I’ve had amazing opportunities with the work I have already completed so far in my few months at Pinsent Masons. One of the tasks which would stand out the most is assisting with bundles in a hearing for a fee earner; my role was to pass the correct bundles to the witness. Another task I have participated in which has stuck out to me was legal research on fire safety for a Senior Associate who was giving a fire safety talk. This helped me learn how to use industry journals, Westlaw and how to find relevant articles. I’ve also been involved with volunteering to help out in the soup kitchen helping to feed the homeless which is an initiative which Pinsent Masons help out with. Pinsent Masons is incredible for giving back to the community and definitely abides by their rule and encourages ethical behaviour.
I can definitely say that I’m settled in after a few months; after so many questions during the recruitment process (some which seemed silly, some serious) including can I bring in my own mug as an ‘office mug’ and can I have a plant at my desk. An office mug kept playing on my mind whether it’s acceptable to bring one in; when do I do it; is a big mug too over the top? So let’s just say when my secret Santa present was a mug to keep at my desk… I couldn’t have been more relieved and I’ve used it every day since.
Meg Joined the CAD team as an apprentice in 2017 – find out more about apprentice opportunities with Pinsent Masons on our website.
Just as the second lockdown struck, so approached application deadlines for vacation placements. So, here’s an overview of how I got to know Pinsent Masons virtually.
Read about Taylor's experience of our Virtual Vacation Scheme
Anne Sammon is an Employment & Reward Partner in London. Anne has significant experience in tribunal and high-court litigation in areas including discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.