I come from a family of 4 in a small seaside town in Kent. My family is a low-income household due to my mum being ill and my dad having to be her carer, as well as me and my sister who became carers for her at a young age. Although I had this struggle with my mum being ill, most of my background is built of positive memories and life lessons that have come to help me be who I am today.
I always knew the traditional university path wasn’t for me.
I decided to pursue a Solicitor Apprenticeship because I wanted the ability to mould my own career and have the flexibility of working and studying whilst gaining more skills than I could imagine.
It was a difficult decision to break away from the traditional path; I had to fight against other people’s opinions and stigmas surrounding apprenticeships. But an apprenticeship offered the chance to complete two passions at the same time (something that isn’t always possible in the fast-moving world we live in). I could continue my academic path and have the university experience, which had always intrigued me – and having that opportunity would mean I would be the first person in my family to attend university which would be amazing. At the same time, the ability to be in a work environment and learn from experienced solicitors would give me the opportunity to experience professional life and gain relevant real-world experience.
Compared to my peers, I would be able to learn and earn which has lots of benefits, including being able to invest all as much time as possible into my passions within the legal field. The work experience allows me to gain key skills that are widely recognised in modern working life, whilst having the chance to network and build relationships in a stable and stronger environment.
So far it has been eye-opening and one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have found the most welcoming and friendly people who accept me and respect me even though I have been there only a few months. I have been supported in every decision I have made and have found support wherever I have looked in the firm, whether is from other solicitor apprentices or partners. It has been challenging but has allowed me to be motivated and pushed to do the very best that I can.
Do it anyway! Do what makes you happy and don’t let someone stop you due to their opinions. This is your chance to prove them wrong and show you have made the right decision for yourself and that you can be happy by taking a different path. And be different! It only shows how strong, determined, and resilient you are. This is your time to share your thoughts and opinions; take the time to explain why you believe this is your “fit”. Educate people around you and explain that stereotypes can be broken.
To be a lending hand to students and others who have been in similar situations to me, and be a role model who shows that it is okay to break from the traditional path and do what you believe is best for you.
I hope to find a legal seat where I feel happy and comfortable, and where I feel as though I can work hard and prove to others how determined I am.
As well as working my way up in my legal career, I want to be able to raise awareness of the opportunities that apprenticeships have and how beneficial they are for young people.