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Solicitor apprenticeship success for Lauryn

3rd Feb 2023 | Solicitor apprenticeships | Current apprentices
Solicitor apprenticeship success for Lauryn Hellewell

In honour of National Apprenticeship Week 2023, we're celebrating the success of all our Muckle apprentices and their commitment to gaining skills for life. 

This case study was created with the Good Work Pledge, and celebrates one of our rising stars: apprentice solicitor, Lauryn Hellewell.

When Lauryn Hellewell finished her A levels in June 2018, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in law and become a solicitor.

By September, Lauryn had begun her career with Muckle LLP, having enrolled on the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship programme - combining traditional study with fully paid on-the-job training over six years.

This year, Lauryn graduated with a first-class degree in LLB (Hons) Legal Practice, has a string of award nominations recognising her hard work, and is on track to qualify as a solicitor next year.

Here’s her apprenticeship story.

What is the Muckle apprenticeship programme?

We’re one of the North East’s leading law firms for business. Since 2017, we’ve been running the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship (NESA) scheme to make the world of law accessible to all.

As an apprentice starting in 2018, Lauryn was among the first to take a new, alternative route into law: earning and learning at a highly successful firm on a six-year programme, without the burden of university fees.

Why did Lauryn choose the apprenticeship route?

University isn’t for everyone, Lauryn says: “When I knew I wanted to become a solicitor, I initially thought I would need to follow the usual university route, but when I found out about the NESA scheme it felt right immediately. I knew the route was better suited to me as I much preferred the idea of gaining ‘real life experience’.

“Being an apprentice at a law firm is amazing. At Muckle I was accepted into the team straight away and I continue to learn something every single day from people who are keen to share their knowledge.

“Working in the office alongside experienced lawyers is invaluable and having exposure to different areas of law and ways of working has not only broadened by legal knowledge but has improved my transferable skills, such as time management and critical thinking.

“During my degree I studied at university one day a week, so I felt like I was getting a good mix of real-world experience, and traditional classroom learning.”

What does a typical day look like for Lauryn?

Day to day, Lauryn is a trusted member of the team and works in the office with the firm’s sports, education and charities team assisting sector specialists on academy conversions, trust governance, sport club restructures and general charity matters.

As she completes her apprenticeship, Lauryn gets to sit with different teams to learn a wide range of skills and has previously worked with the corporate team supporting on demergers and company reorganisations.

Lauryn is a key contributor to real cases, and in testament to her reputation as a reliable colleague, she was nominated for two awards in 2022.

Recognising Lauryn’s outstanding contribution, she was shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year at the NECC’s Inspiring Female Awards, and for Young Apprentice of the Year at the Insider North East Young Professionals Awards.

What qualifications will Lauryn earn through her apprenticeship?

Through the NESA scheme, Lauryn will earn a level 7 qualification, which is equivalent to a Master’s degree, with Northumbria University.

This year, Lauryn ticked off a key portion of her NESA study programme as she graduated with a first-class degree in LLB (Hons) in Legal Practice.

Celebrating the news in September, she said: “I’m so proud to have graduated with a first, and grateful to every person in my wider support network who has believed in me, shared their knowledge and been a cheerleader along the way so far. I can’t wait to take on the next challenges.”

Lauryn is now working towards the first tranche of the Solicitor Qualifying Examination and is due to sit the exam in Summer 2023.

What support do apprentices get?

As a solicitor apprentice, Lauryn is supported by the entire Muckle firm as she works towards qualification, and beyond. She’s also made an impact on her clients, who trust her as a legal professional and challenge her appropriately.

Lauryn’s mentor, partner and head of procurement Alison Walton, sings her praises.

“Lauryn never misses anything. She’s a safe pair of hands and moves seamlessly between completing her degree, managing her workload and maintaining key client relationships.”

One of those key client relationships is with the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), where a key figure described Lauryn’s legal and service skills as “exceptional,” ultimately requesting that she support their in-house legal team once a week on secondment, working with the TVCA directly.

Alison comments: “I think Lauryn sets a great example to others who want to follow the apprentice route – she’s a real success story.”

What’s Lauryn’s advice to would-be solicitor apprentices?

“I was certain that the apprenticeship route was for me and I spent a lot of time on my application,” says Lauryn.

“Six years sounds like a long time but at the end of it, you have the equivalent of a Master’s degree and you are a qualified solicitor with six years’ experience at a law firm, solid working relationships and real-world exposure.

“My advice to applicants is to really research the scheme and firms that you’re interested in, and tailor your application to them. Show that you’re hard-working, motivated and responsible but most importantly just be yourself!”

Solicitor apprenticeship applications are now open at Muckle. We highly encourage applications from anyone considering a career in law, who thinks that traditional university route might not be for them.

Find out more about NESA and working at Muckle on our apprenticeships page, or look at our other vacancies. Learn more about Lauryn and her journey so far on her people page.

Amalie Mason on applying to NESA


Discover how and why current apprentice Amalie Mason applied for her position through NESA.

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