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Three months in – reflections on life as a paralegal apprentice at Cripps

17 Dec 2021

Just over three months ago, we welcomed four new paralegal apprentices to the firm. In this blog post, the apprentices look back on that journey and what life is like now that they have settled in.

The road from application to apprentice

(Louise Pettit, Paralegal Apprentice)

The application process for the Cripps paralegal apprenticeship programme begins with an application form. Don’t be daunted by this but think of this as your chance to stand out and list the qualities you have that make you an ideal candidate for the programme.

If your form impresses, you will be invited to an Assessment Day. This will include an interview.

Do your research

Make sure your knowledge about the firm is up to date before the Assessment Day. You will stand out from the other candidates if you can demonstrate genuine interest in what Cripps does. For example, look at the firm’s website and Twitter feed.

Confidence is key

The interview is another chance to shine and show those interviewing you what personal strengths you have that you would bring to the programme. Make sure you have questions prepared to ask in the interview so it is clear to those interviewing you that you really want to join the programme.

Don’t be worried about the Assessment Day. It is hard work but overall I really enjoyed the process and everyone was very welcoming and made everyone feel comfortable (even though in 2021 the process had to be conducted online because of Covid).

First Day Nerves

(Ashleigh England, Paralegal Apprentice)

First day nerves are inevitable. We all experience them at some point and walking into your first office environment can be scary. However, upon walking through the revolving doors into the world of Cripps you are always made to feel reassured and welcome.

Here are some tips that I used to battle my first day nerves:

Relax the night before

Pamper yourself the night before, do a few of the things that make you feel relaxed. This will help you sleep and make you feel more refreshed for the day.

Find something to look forward to

First day anxiety is normal and expected, however, that doesn’t mean you have to focus all your energy on it. Instead concentrate on what you are looking forward to. What excites you about the role? What are you hoping to learn? Turn your anxiety into excitement!

Talk through how your feeling with family and friends

Speaking to family and friends about your new job nerves and any worries can help calm your anxiety. This helps unburden your mind and eases the pressure you may be feeling.

What we do all day

(Megan Barton, Paralegal Apprentice)

As a paralegal apprentice, our roles all began as more of an admin based role to help us work our way around the systems and give us some basic knowledge. As time progresses, you will get involved in some client work such as drafting legal documents.

I am currently working in the Private Wealth team. Therefore, a day for me usually consists of helping to draft legal documents such as Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorneys, drafting letters and sometimes sitting in on client meetings. I particularly enjoy this client contact and find it is a great way of learning!

Day to day, Cripps are great at keeping communication up amongst teams and providing lots of support to you. Every week you have a catch up with your Apprentice Manager and another meeting with the other Apprentices where you can feedback what you have all been doing throughout the week. As well as this, within the team you are working for you will have your own Supervisor.

Getting involved and settling into the firm

(Mollie Wilson, paralegal apprentice)

Since joining the firm, one thing I have loved is how easy it’s been to feel a part of the Cripps family. Starting a new job can be scary at the best of times, but for many of us, starting this apprenticeship was the first real office experience we had had. Also the social side of Cripps has been so helpful with building confidence and relationships across the firm.

So far as new apprentices, we’ve had the opportunity to be very hands on with the Charity Committee, raising money for our 2021 charity of the year – Myeloma UK. This has included helping to plan upcoming events including our very own Bake Off!

I love attending these events too. It’s an amazing chance to get to know people you wouldn’t necessarily cross paths with in day-to-day office life.

There are  plenty of other committees to get involved with here at Cripps too, from an events committee to a well-being committee. There are  options for everyone!

Join us

At Cripps, we understand the importance of investing in our junior lawyers and have programmes to suit everyone. Find out more on our graduates and students page.