Lucy Martindale has been working with the forward-thinking York-based law firm, Hethertons Solicitors, since June 2014 where she completed an advanced apprenticeship in business administration. She is now working towards a highly-skilled legal services apprenticeship within the firm’s Private Client department.
Lucy is immensely hard-working and now has high hopes of continuing along her current career path with the goal of one day entering a fee-earning position within the firm. She believes much of what she has achieved has been down to the assistance of Hethertons Solicitors and Damar Training, who have both been extremely supportive throughout.
Here is more of what Lucy has to say about her apprenticeship route within a legal environment.
What led you to enrol on an apprenticeship?
When I first joined Hethertons in June 2014, I began a business administration apprenticeship which I successfully completed last year.
During this first year, I found that I very much enjoyed working in a legal environment and I particularly enjoyed working in my chosen department, Private Client.
I learnt a lot about wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and the administration of estates during this time and I decided that I would like to develop my knowledge of Private Client a lot more, which is why I chose to do a Legal Services apprenticeship.
What does your role as an apprentice entail?
A normal day would include filing and administrative tasks, which could include storing away original wills, recording them on our system electronically and on a card that is stored in the deeds room.
I also work on our dictation system, which includes drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney, completing forms using client details.
Whilst I am getting on with my work, my telephone could ring at any time and this takes priority, as the client always comes first, so I answer my telephone straight away. A client might ask if I can arrange an appointment for them to meet with a solicitor to give them their will instructions, or instructions to prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney. I also regularly meet with clients in person to assist them with a wide range of tasks and procedures.
What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship?
I have enjoyed learning about the law, in particular Private Client Law and working in a legal environment. In particular, I enjoy having a lot to do and I always am very busy, which is great.
What has been a personal highlight of your apprenticeship?
A personal highlight of my apprenticeship would have to have been when a client told me that I had been very helpful. This made me feel proud and that I had done a good job.
Have you got any advice for school leavers looking for the right career path?
If you do not want to go to university, it is not the end of the world. Apprenticeships are available for those who would prefer to work and learn at the same time and most importantly, to learn about your chosen job role. Not everybody wants to go to university and that is absolutely fine. Apprenticeships are available at degree level anyway, so at the end of an apprenticeship, you could have a qualification that is equivalent to a university degree.
Barbara Stephens, the head of Hethertons’ Private Client department says:
“Lucy has really settled in well to our team since joining us and has already shown that she is more than capable of delivering exceptional services to our clients. She has a real thirst for knowledge and has been working hard to complete her latest apprenticeship. We are very proud of what she has managed to achieve so far and we will continue to support her, with the help of Damar Training, as she develops her career in the legal profession”.
Lucy’s Damar trainer, Jenna Moran comments:
“Lucy has developed her background legal knowledge immensely, passing her first CILEx exams in the January sitting which is a real achievement. Lucy provides a great support network to her team and offers assistance with key responsibilities. She is conscientious and works extremely hard both in the capacities of employee and student. I am confident that this hard work will be recognised as she continues to progress at Hethertons and throughout her career in law”.