Meet Chloe, Legal Services Apprentice with an exciting boutique private client law firm

The Burnside Partnership is a growing law firm offering technically outstanding advice from specialist lawyers who are sensitive to clients’ needs and take time to understand their individual circumstances and priorities. 

For many clients, The Burnside Partnership are the modern version of the “Family Solicitor” - a constant in the background offering ongoing support and assistance and often working with different generations of the same family. For other clients they provide one-off, bespoke pieces of advice.

When partners Anna Burnside and Fiona Wheeler started the firm in June 2015, they knew they wanted to employ an Apprentice to grow and develop along with the business. The partners wanted a new member of the staff on the legal team who they could train to do things their way.

Fiona contacted Oxfordshire Apprenticeships for some advice on how to get started with employing an Apprentice and finding a training organisation to provide the right off the job training to suit the firm. They decided to work with CILEx Law School - a distance learning law school specialising in legal training - and offer a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Legal Services.

CILEx Law School helped with recruitment and The Burnside Partnership employed their first Apprentice Chloe in July 2015 as a Legal Administrator around six weeks after they opened for business. They have since recruited another Apprentice at Level 3, mentored by Chloe, who is enjoying passing her knowledge to the next member of the team.

Chloe’s story

Chloe completed sixth form at Chenderit School in Banbury. She was interested in law but always thought she would have to go to university to become a qualified lawyer. When she heard about an Apprenticeships open event at the Banbury branch of Brethertons LLP, Chloe decided to go along to find out about this route into law. Chloe decided that an Apprenticeship would be perfect for her and was delighted when she secured her Apprenticeship with The Burnside Partnership.

Chloe’s Level 3 Apprenticeship in Legal Services will take 2 years to complete. The ‘off the job’ training is all done via distance learning online, including a weekly webinar. Chloe’s assessor visits her every 12 weeks to make sure she’s on track. The firm enables Chloe to spend half a day a week studying to ensure that she has plenty of time to complete her NVQ work. When she finishes her Apprenticeship, Chloe will have the opportunity to further her legal career with The Burnside Partnership.

Chloe says: “I feel like I’m a long way ahead of people who went to uni. I’ve had to work hard as there’s so much to learn! When I started, people were talking about things I’ve never even heard of! Now I’ve learnt all about it and I’ve had the chance to meet so many people and learn how to interact with clients, which is so important and something you can only learn from experience.”

"This whole Apprenticeship scheme has definitely exceeded all expectations I’ve ever had of an Apprenticeship. The opportunities and responsibilities that I have been given are much more than I ever expected they would be. Being an Apprentice has been a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone." 

Fiona says: “It was an exciting opportunity for Chloe to join a growing company at the beginning and be part of something new and developing fast. There’s lots of client contact and the chance to learn about all aspects of the business that you only get with a small firm. We needed someone friendly who’s good at interacting with people and keen to learn.”

"Chloe is popular with colleagues, clients and visitors to the firm.  She has been such an excellent Apprentice that a number of the firm’s professional contacts who have met her are investigating taking on an Apprentice themselves."

"The Apprenticeship pathway which Chloe is following is a very demanding one and requires a lot of academic study.  Chloe undertakes this all in a thorough and timely manner and has been very successful. Chloe has all of the qualities and capabilities she needs to succeed as a lawyer and has an extremely bright future ahead of her. She is determined, intelligent and excellent with people. Chloe has worked extremely hard and this is reflected in the appreciation which her colleagues and clients have for her work and in her academic success."

"Chloe is on track to complete her Apprenticeship four months ahead of schedule. She is planning to continue her study and qualify as a legal executive. She will be in a fairly unusual position as many people are unaware of the Apprenticeship route to law, so many of her peers will have been at university for at least four years to reach the level she will be at. We believe that Chloe’s experiences will make her significantly more employable and an asset to our firm, where we very much hope she will remain for her long and successful career.