An apprentice’s tale

Addleshaw Goddard apprentice Marcus Lunt tells the story of how he found the firm.

It all happened pretty quickly really… one minute I had received my A level results and decided, after considering the costs, I wasn’t going to go to take a place at university. The next, I’m sitting here, in the office of one of the biggest law firms in the UK.

Over the last year I spent many hours scouring websites for apprenticeships, all of which fell into the categories of; ‘hmm maybe’ or ‘definitely not’. Many I found came under ‘Business and Admin’ and ‘Accounting and Finance’, but none inspired me.

Then, late on a Sunday night, I logged onto the government apprenticeship website and found a vacancy for a ‘Legal Apprentice’. Within the space of a few weeks, I had gone from being concerned about which direction my life was taking, to feeling as if I had hit the jackpot.

After reading the job description and future opportunities, I applied online. I’d always had a keen interest in law, but thought the costs made it out of my reach. I had an initial ’phone interview followed by one-on-one interviews and made it through to become an fully fledged Addleshaw Goddard employee. Wow.

So, the job. £12k a year. Over double the minimum apprentice wage. I read that two out of three law graduates didn’t get employed in law in 2011 so I have some job security and the opportunity to qualify as a paralegal.

I work hands-on with experts on live assignments so I mirror the good things they do (and avoid those they don’t do so well!). This route allows me to earn while I learn and avoid the £70k-ish debt of a trainee lawyer.

With a reduced number of law firm training contracts, it’s a different entry route into a legal career. People have a brilliant opinion of the firm and this gives me great faith that I have picked the right option. Addleshaw Goddard wants to be known as ‘different’. With the introduction of Transaction Services Team (TST) we work as part of a team supporting more experienced lawyers to decrease their workload and improve the efficiency of our service, while remaining cost effective. This is a unique and innovative approach, and to be part of that has given me a sense of pride.

I don’t know about you but my college seemed solely focused on university, yet these days apprenticeships seem to create a better opportunity – but obviously I am slightly biased! I’d say to anyone wanting a career in law: consider your options. Weekends off and the money to do things mean I’ll have as good a time as my university friends.