Things to know and do as a new apprentice

Find out Albi's top tips on things to know and do as a new apprentice

25 January 2021

By apprentice Albi Kasemi

I am currently a second-year legal apprentice. My first year has flown past. So far, I have been in two departments: Dispute resolution and now I am working in Projects. Many people may find a six-year commitment to this route quite daunting. I can assure you that my experience so far has been just as great as I was expecting, if not better. I have been able to understand the value of gaining practical skills in the workplace. Whilst doing this, I have also been gaining the academic knowledge I would have gained if I were going to University full time.

Get to know people

It may be an obvious one, but learning people’s names is an easy way to make a good impression. Try to introduce yourself to others when you have the chance. By doing this, you are putting yourself out there more and you get to know your colleagues. This will benefit you both personally and professionally. Everyone at Burges Salmon is friendly and approachable therefore doing this should be no problem - after all one of Burges Salmon’s key qualities is to ‘Collaborate’. Even if you find this difficult, people will always try to come to you and make you feel welcomed.

Be well organised and punctual

You will regularly need to take instructions from other people in the firm, therefore it is important that you are always prepared and you have the ‘basics’ on hand. Keep in mind that you should always have a pen and paper nearby as it can be easy to forget these two important things. If you have any meetings to attend, ensure that you are prepared beforehand and on time. Likewise, there is no harm in being a little earlier if you can manage. Try to take clear and concise notes but make sure you are still maintaining interaction with the speaker. There is no such thing as a wrong question so feel free to ask. Everyone at the firm understands that you are there to learn as well as work therefore everyone is happy to be by your side and assist you with anything.

Working in the department 

Every department in the firm has at least one weekly prayers meeting. This is where everyone talks about their capacity and what work is going on at that moment. It is beneficial to attend the prayers meetings because it allows you to get involved in something new if you have the capacity for it. If this is the case, you should contact the lawyer working on the project and ask them if there is anything you can do for that project. The lawyers will appreciate the fact that you have shown interest and that you are keen. You can always contact lawyers and ask for work.

Finally

During the six years, you will get the chance to explore different departments and have a feel for what suits you best. Put yourself out there and try a variety of things. I recommend that you attend as many social events as possible; not only will you have a great time but you will get the opportunity to socialise more as well.

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