Solicitor Apprentice Q&A
Q&A With a Solicitor Apprentice
We spoke with our solicitor apprentice Danny Turpin to find out his experience on our Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship
Q: So just to start us off, would you be okay introducing yourself and saying what your role is in the company that you work for?
A: Yeah. My name’s Danny Turpin, and I work for Berkson Family Law, which is a family law firm. It’s got a legal aid contract, and I mainly work on the care side of things underneath a panel solicitor, mainly representing children via their guardian. I’m an apprentice solicitor and that started in August of this year. I joined the firm in July of 2022. And I’ve worked on the same team and progressed from being a legal clerk to being an apprentice solicitor.
Q: Do you think the Graduate Solicitor apprenticeship has enhanced your practical legal skills?
A: Yes. I think so far it’s taught me a bit more about the SRA regulations and the principles which underpin practice and how they’re applied day to day. That’s something I’ve not really learned before so it’s giving me an introduction to them. And then, as we go forward more into the SQE2 that’s more the practical side of the apprenticeship and then I’ll continue to develop my practical skills as we go on.
Q: Perfect. What has your experience with the Datalaw’s Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship been like so far?
A: It’s been really enjoyable. It’s been quite engaging. There have been 1-2-1 events like this, and with my tutor Kelly as well, and Cath have been quite helpful with trying to learn the best way for us to learn as it was new to everybody. So, yeah, it’s often just been a good experience so far. I would recommend using Datalaw to people.
Q: What’s been the most beneficial part of the apprenticeship for you?
A: For uniquely family law and areas which aren’t usually covered. The apprenticeship as a whole allows us to be reintroduced to the areas you’d learn at university at undergraduate level, and gain some understanding of the other areas of the law, which I haven’t learned since my first year at university. And, obviously, the role itself brings a bit more responsibility in the day to day job. Being a trainee solicitor, you get that increased responsibility that comes with it. Then, as you go further into the apprenticeship we use what we have learnt with Datalaw and apply it in the firm. So I think that’s the most beneficial, is probably the progression you’ll see both academically and day to day.
Q: Why did you choose Datalaw to do the Level 7 solicitor apprenticeship with?
A: We’ve got a quite close relationship with Datalaw as a firm, which made it promoted to us. I thought it was really good. The idea that it was remote and it being more flexible with days out of work. I think trying to do it after work like you see on other courses, would be a lot of pressure. I think it’s quite a balanced timetable.
Q: What’s your current day to day response responsibilities in your role at the moment? Has that changed as you’ve been on the apprenticeship
A: Yeah. I’d say it’s increased to be more hands on, I work for a consultant solicitor so she’s more of an advocate so she spends a lot of time in court. So a lot of the day to day, I’ve taken a lot more responsibility around that. Sort of drafting, attending court myself, managing other people myself, time management, etc. So it’s definitely seen an increase in responsibility since I started in August, which is great.
Q: Would you recommend the apprenticeship to other aspiring solicitors?
A: Yeah. I think it’s much better. Especially, if you have been to university, it allows you to go straight into a firm so there’s the benefit of earning money but also in your learning experience as with the SQE you need two years experience to qualify but in the LPC, you may spend a year in full time education but then you’ve got to find a training contract. However, if you went into a firm and did the apprenticeship you would immediately start earning and you’d be able to gain experience on the job unlike university. You learn a lot more in a week of a job than you will do in a month or so in a university. So I think it is very beneficial if people went and started a job especially with a firm who’d be able to support you in the apprenticeship route.