To mark National Apprenticeship Week, we’re putting some of our Harrison Drury legal apprentices in the spotlight through a series of Q&As.
First up is Taylor Eastham who joined us as a legal apprentice in September 2023. Taylor studied law, sociology and criminology at Cardinal Newman College and then gained experience as a paralegal before starting her legal apprenticeship.
What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I’ve always felt that I learn better in practical situations that I can then reflect on when studying – an apprenticeship allows me to do this.
What are the advantages of taking the apprentice route?
I get to gain experience and opportunities alongside studying, it’s the best of both worlds. I also get to develop professional relationships and connections at an early stage of my career.
What attracted you to Harrison Drury?
I had heard about Harrison Drury and was aware of its reputation in the region. I wanted to find out more about the firm, so I visited the website to see what they had to offer.
I was interested in the apprenticeship programme and did some further research into what was involved. The firm seemed like a great place to work and would provide me with plenty of opportunities to develop my career.
What made you choose a career in law?
I have always had an interest in law and wanted to know what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of the big deals I read about in the news.
I found myself doing quite well when studying it at college and could see myself doing it long term – I also thought it would be very rewarding helping people on various different legal matters.
How has Harrison Drury supported you through your apprenticeship?
From my very first day, the team at Harrison Drury made me feel very welcome.
There is always someone to ask for help when I need it, with plenty of opportunities to talk about my personal development, and any queries I may have.
What do you enjoy most about working at Harrison Drury?
The people, the events and the opportunities. There is always some activity going on and something to look forward to – whether that be a networking event, staff parties or going out for lunch with colleagues.
What has been the most important lesson you have learnt at Harrison Drury?
That it’s okay to ask for help and speak to someone if needed.
The team at Harrison Drury really cares about my personal and professional development, and they make sure that I fully understand my role within the company and what is expected of me.
How do you manage your time between learning and client work?
My apprenticeship consists of one study day per week, so I make sure to use this time wisely and treat it as an actual working day dedicated to learning and reflecting on the previous few days at the firm.
This allows me to balance my workload and doesn’t leave me with loads to do in between and after working hours.
What common challenges do you face day-to-day and how do you overcome them?
Something I struggled with at first was speaking to clients over the phone. However, I found that doing this with a group and listening to my colleagues whilst they talk on the phone helped me ease into it.
Getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself forward to do these things helped to overcome my fear head on, and it eventually became second nature.
What would your advice be to someone considering an apprenticeship?
Always consider this as an option. There are more industries than ever before offering apprenticeships, as it is becoming more and more popular for young people.
A lot of people seem to think an apprenticeship is ‘the easy way out’ and a way to avoid the traditional university route, but this is not the case. Like myself, a lot of people learn better this way and value the experiences it gives you.
I find it very rewarding that, whilst still studying for my degree, I can continue to progress my career, while learning and building relationships on the way.