Apprenticeships offer an alternative route to a career in the legal industry by providing an opportunity to gain practical experience and a qualification while working. Gowling WLG offers a variety of apprenticeships, both in legal and non-legal roles.
Millie Wozencroft is a third-year solicitor apprentice working in the Commercial Litigation team. As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke to Millie about her experience so far.
What attracted you to a career in law?
I really wanted to work in an environment that is fast-paced, challenging and intellectually rewarding. I thought that a career in law would offer me that, thereby giving me an opportunity to play to my strengths and empower me to succeed in what is reputable profession.
Also, despite only being at school, I was already thinking ahead to the future and it was important to me that my chosen career gave me transferable skills, job security and financial stability – all of which were fulfilled by a career in law.
What attracted you to an apprenticeship programme?
After sixth form, I went to university for a year to study psychology, with a view to studying law and qualifying as a solicitor later on. However, it wasn’t the right path for me and I started to look into apprenticeships as an alternative route to law.
The combination of a four-day working week and one day of studying meant that I would gain practical experience in a law firm while also working towards a qualification. Getting my foot in the door of the legal industry and earning a salary while studying at the same time was really appealing.
Can you tell us a little more about where you are currently at in your apprenticeship journey?
I started my paralegal apprenticeship at Gowling WLG in September 2017, which I then completed in December 2019. I then began my solicitor apprenticeship in January 2020. I have just completed the third year of my solicitor apprenticeship.
Working in the Commercial Litigation team for the past five years, I have been exposed to legal work relating to fraud, insolvency and asset recovery, where I have acted for liquidators of companies and trustees in bankruptcy. I have also advised on general commercial disputes involving contractual debt claims, breaches of contract and misrepresentations.
Now, I am about to start my fourth year of my solicitor apprenticeship and do my seat rotations, which are also typical of the traditional training contract route.
What have been your personal highlights at Gowling WLG?
The first highlight that comes to mind is the people who I have met at the firm. I have met the best mentors, some of whom have become the greatest friends both at and outside of work. Their support and guidance has been invaluable.
Another highlight came from Gowling WLG’s sponsorship and appointment as Official Legal Advisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Ahead of the Games, a netball tournament was hosted for the sponsors, which I played in. My team reached the final and narrowly lost by one goal. Very disappointing, but it was great to play in a competitive environment with my colleagues and see the firm’s team spirit come to life.
Work wise, settling my first case was certainly a highlight. I led the negotiations with the opposition, liaised with the client and drafted the settlement agreement – all under time pressure ahead of a Court hearing date. This felt like a great achievement.
What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?
If you are considering leaving university or a career change, it is never too late to start an apprenticeship. Find the strength to start over and do something that you are proud of.
A legal apprenticeship is long (about six and a half years). I would think carefully about whether a career in law genuinely interests you. If so, the challenges that you face in terms of your work and studying over the course of your legal apprenticeship (of which there are bound to be some) will be far easier to overcome.
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.