Legal apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular way of entering the legal industry as an alternative to the traditional university route. At Gowling WLG, we are offer a range of different apprenticeships across legal and business services departments.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke to first-year legal apprentice Karandeep Saluja about how he has found the start of his career in law.
What attracted you to a career in law?
The way the law helps to positively serve the community sparked my initial curiosity in what a career in law would be like. Besides having the opportunity to help serve the community and clients, exploring different industries within law peaked my interest. I saw a career where I could learn and explore an industry where there are a variety of sector-diverse legal teams and firms. A career in law also captivated my interest as it meant that I could pursue a profession where I could network and build my reputation in the industry. Despite being a career where there are objective methods to work, there’s also so many opportunities to use innovation and problem solving skills to serve clients.
What attracted you to an apprenticeship programme?
Prior to the apprenticeship, I studied architecture at university, however I ended up withdrawing from studies after realising it wasn’t for me. This reverted me back to my initial passion in law.
I starting exploring potential opportunities in the legal industry while working in retail. During this time, I realised that an apprenticeship programme would be best suited to making a career change rather than spending more money on another university degree.
I was intrigued by Gowling WLG’s programme after learning more about the company and its values. I believed that I was a right fit for the company and that the programme would help me to learn and work in a professional environment whilst developing my skills and knowledge. Entering the legal industry with no experience was daunting, but the great thing about an apprenticeship is that it is understood that you are new to law and you know you will be supported in your learning and development.
Can you tell us a little more about where you are currently in your apprenticeship journey?
I am fairly new to the company having joined roughly three months ago. I was assigned to the Transactions team in the London office’s Mergers and Acquisitions group. Since then, I have settled down well into the team with a lot of support from my colleagues and supervisor. I have already been included in client projects; participating in updating, filing and naming documents commonly used in corporate law. Meanwhile in my studies, my mentors have been giving me introductory lessons on law in the United Kingdom. Separately, my team have been helping me learn and develop a better understanding of business law, which is the primary focus in our Transactions team through practical and textbook learning.
What have been your personal highlights at Gowling WLG?
One of my personal highlights has been expanding my network by meeting new colleagues and learning more about the company and the different teams. This has been very beneficial in developing my communication skills and confidence in working in a commercial environment. Having no prior knowledge in law or an office environment, it seemed very daunting when I first joined the company, however the support and mentoring I have received have allowed me to develop into my role and learn the basics, which will help as I progress further into my apprenticeship.
What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?
When considering an apprenticeship, one of the most important aspects is making sure that you and the company are a good fit for each other. When looking at Gowling WLG’s website and their apprenticeship programme, I was interested in the work environment and the culture as it aligned with my values. When looking into apprenticeships, always keep an open mind and have options to ensure you choose a firm best aligned with your values and your ambition. I would recommend writing up a list of the benefits and drawbacks of doing an apprenticeship, as well as other alternatives. In my experience, the concept of practical learning and getting accustomed to a commercial environment with support from all my colleagues and my supervisor has made me see the real value that apprenticeships offer.
Find out more about our apprenticeships
Interested in exploring an apprenticeship in a law firm? Visit our careers website to find out more about the programmes we offer.