In September 2014, Jake Fielding commenced his apprenticeship at Smith Jones Solicitors in conjunction with Damar Training. During this time Jake was able to gain practical experience in a legal setting while learning the skills and qualities he would need in order to succeed in such an environment.
At Smith Jones, Jake started in the Portal Support department but quickly progressed taking up an opportunity in the New Business team. Here he gained more responsibilities and was able to develop useful skills that would help him in his legal career. Smith Jones recognised Jake’s talents and as a result, he progressed to a role as a Portal Case Handler. Amongst other things, this involved managing his own caseload of personal injury claims under the supervision of senior team members.
Smith Jones uses apprenticeships as a valuable part of its recruitment strategy because they provide a skilled workforce for the future and they can be tailored to specific jobs. Damar apprenticeships have been a perfect fit for Smith Jones allowing training in a niche area that adds value to the organisation.
“We are delighted with Jake’s progress and the skills he has acquired through Damar Training and our own in-house training team. Jake has received excellent training which has enabled him to become a proficient and effective member of the team.” – Ann-Marie Bradley, SJ Law Group HR Manager.
Now that his apprenticeship is at an end, Jake is settling into his role as a Litigation Executive for the Holiday Sickness team. Smith Jones noticed Jake’s potential and nurtured it so that he could find the right place for him in such a dynamic law firm.
“Doing the day to day tasks at the firm has helped me understand civil law and litigation a lot easier than if I was just stuck in a classroom. SJ have been great. The staff and management have been really accommodating and always have their door open if you have any issues.
Gaining experience on the job whilst gaining an academic qualification is probably one of the best ways to land a legal job.”
– Jake Fielding