Our people are all different, but they’re all challengers in their own right and they have their own story to tell.
Leah joined Dentons as a Solicitor Apprentice in September 2021.
Why did you decide to join Dentons?
Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, and with that comes endless opportunities for me to grow and learn as a young professional. As a forward thinking firm, committing itself to creating a culture of positivity, diversity and inclusion, I knew it would be the right environment for me to continue to promote my core values.
Upon hearing reviews from other apprentices, it was clear the programme was a success and would allow me to build the career that I had always wanted.
What drew you to a Solicitor Apprenticeship?
Solicitor apprenticeships allow you to benefit from both academic work and practical skills that constantly enhance your understanding of working in a law firm and being a legal professional.
Being able to ask advice, and learn from experienced solicitors is an invaluable way of developing your knowledge and skills. You still go to university during the apprenticeship and receive the same education, qualifying with a degree, it just isn’t full time and you consolidate what you learn through the practical work you do in your firm. My university fees are paid for and as a bonus, I am paid a salary which is a great way to avoid the stress of student debt and save towards your future.
The biggest thing for me is that at the end of the apprenticeship I will have experience in eight different legal departments and will be better equipped to decide which area of law is the right fit for me.
What has been a Dentons highlight so far?
The biggest highlight for me at Dentons so far is finishing my first seat in Corporate. I was incredibly excited when I first started but it was also very overwhelming and I was inevitably nervous.
To complete my first year was an amazing accomplishment and to be able to look back on all that I have achieved makes me look forward to the possibilities that will come over the next five years and beyond qualification.
What challenges have you had to overcome in your career journey so far?
Entering into a law firm at 18 is inevitably a big adjustment, and there are always going to be challenges.
My biggest challenge so far as a solicitor apprentice, was learning to balance my academic studies alongside working manage my time effectively. However, after a few weeks it became second nature and, while it can still be challenging, you develop excellent time management and organisational skills.
Also, learning to ask for help is one of the main things I have had to overcome. With only a Law A-level as background knowledge, it’s fair to say I was pretty clueless when a task came through! No matter how simple or complex, it was difficult to ask for help. The people around me, regardless of how busy they may have been, were always willing to teach me and answer any questions.
What's your advice for someone applying to Dentons?
The application process was daunting for me, knowing how much I wanted to get the apprenticeship.
My biggest tip would be to be yourself, it is a chance for you to showcase your qualities. The process isn’t designed to trip you up, it just wants to know if you’re a good fit for Dentons. Ensure you have researched the firm and properly prepared for any questions you may be asked, this will help with your nerves.