Hi, I’m Emily Aylott and I am an Apprentice Solicitor working in the Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department at BTMK Solicitors Limited.
As it’s my 3rd National Apprenticeship Week as an Apprentice, I wanted to share my experience of my Solicitor Apprenticeship so far. During the last couple of years of my apprenticeship, I have been able to develop my skills and gain invaluable experience in various areas of litigation, including high value professional negligence matters, debt recovery and enforcement, and construction to name a few. I am particularly interested in general litigation and also contentious probate litigation. I have been able to gain knowledge and experience in contentious probate litigation given the increased number of disputes in the post Covid-19 era in my current role in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department.
By being an Apprentice Solicitor, I have one study day a week whereby I attend online workshops and lectures. We study a different module each term, which allows me to learn a vast amount of content for my law degree whilst working and gaining practical experience at the same time. Although work and study can be difficult to balance at times, I wouldn’t have been exposed to as many opportunities as I have as an Apprentice if I chose to qualify through the ‘traditional route’. I have attended several networking events, allowing me to meet fellow professionals, including barristers that we regularly liaise with regarding ongoing matters. I embarked on the apprenticeship route because I felt that this would be better suited to me rather than attending university and I am extremely pleased that I chose to do so. I also chose the apprenticeship route because I will qualify with approximately six years of workplace experience which I consider will be extremely beneficial post qualification.
Towards the end of my apprenticeship, I am likely to have the opportunity to have ‘seats’ throughout the firm to enable me to gain experience in different practice areas. However, at the end of my apprenticeship, I aspire to specialise in Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
Overall, although I am only just over two years into my apprenticeship, I have developed considerably. Even in the last year, I have worked on higher value and more complex litigation matters, covering a wider variety of litigation matters. Although I now feel that I have a good standing in litigation, I am still learning every day and am able to put the knowledge from my studies into practice in my current role.
I am extremely grateful for this experience with BTMK. I would definitely recommend this route to students looking into alternative routes into the legal profession. I think the word “Apprentice’ previously and to some extent still today has carried an amount of stigma. However, I have been treated as a valuable team member since the start of my apprenticeship.
Considering the skills and knowledge that I have gained in the last couple of years, I am very much looking forward to what the future holds for me at BTMK as I progress through the remaining years of my apprenticeship.