I finished secondary school and went on to study philosophy, history and psychology at A level in Sheffield. I was unsure about going to university and an apprenticeship seemed like the best option for me. Throughout my teenage years, I’ve always had an appetite for working and was a waitress in a local pub. Combining this with my interest in law, I decided to apply for an apprenticeship at Irwin Mitchell.
I chose the firm because I could see they offered a good career path and I liked the look of the company. After attending the assessment day, I thought the firm was suited to my personality and values, as everybody was very welcoming and friendly.
I’m working towards becoming a Chartered Legal Executive after completing my paralegal apprenticeship. I manage 30 medical negligence cases on a day-to-day basis. I also help other, more senior case handlers with complex and high value cases, which is great experience. I’m also responsible for training members of staff including a litigation assistant and a new paralegal apprentice who recently joined our team.
My role has developed significantly because when I started, I didn’t manage my own cases and simply supported other people. I now have more responsibility and the team often relies on me to manage key issues in the team. These issues can include managing clients’ medical records, the new data protection work changes, and collecting key case information.
My daily tasks include speaking with clients and drafting legal documents such as claim forms, giving instructions to legal counsel and experts. I also discuss cases with my team and I’m on the new enquiry rota for screening new cases that come into the team from the legal helpline.
The highlight of my role is working in a friendly and supportive team. We’re all in a similar position in managing cases and the responsibility that this involves – you get a real sense of ‘family’ while working here. I’m well supported by my line manager and have people at the Chartered Institute of Legal Execs who I can also reach out to for support. I enjoy learning the different modules which include family law and its practice, land law, contract law, criminal law and the law of tort.
I’m moving onto the Level 6 modules (from Level 3) which will be a big step up in my learning. I’ll be continuing with my learning and working routine for the next few years. In three years’ time, I’m set to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive.
I hope to continue to grow within my team and become a key member, seeing growth both professionally and personally. I want to stay here because I’ve been happy since joining. My line manager and team are great and very supportive, and it seems the next logical step in progressing my career. I didn’t want to stop at the paralegal apprenticeship and the opportunity to continue on this pathway was a great offer.