updated on 05 April 2017
A legal apprentice currently training at international firm Kennedys has won the Legal Apprentice of the Year award in her category at the BPP Apprentice of the Year Awards 2017.
Laura Birks, a Level 7 solicitor apprentice based at Kennedy’s Chelmsford office, was chosen as the winner in BPP’s ‘Level 5 and above’ category over 90 other candidates. She has already completed a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in her chosen field of civil litigation at Kennedys and is now in the first year of a six-year solicitor apprenticeship, which once completed will see her gain a law degree and qualify as a solicitor. The BPP award, which will be presented in a ceremony at the Guildhall in London on 3 May, reflects Laura’s commitment, excellent exam results and career aspirations.
Commenting on her win, Laura said: “I take enormous pride in winning this award. It’s recognition of hard work and determination. University isn’t for everyone and I’m glad I took the apprenticeship route to start my legal career. Due to the quality of our training, Kennedys has trust and faith in its apprentices and I work on challenging and interesting cases. I go to court and attend client meetings, so I am getting the experience that helps me to put the theory I am studying into practice. And I’m being paid to learn too, which puts me ahead of my peers who went to university.”
Kennedys was an early adopter of legal apprenticeships in 2012 and has since recruited 35 school leavers onto its programme. This latest award shows that the firm’s apprenticeship policy is paying off. Nick Thomas, the firm’s senior partner, commented: “I am very proud of our apprenticeship scheme and it continues to go from strength to strength. We open our doors to talent wherever we can. We introduced our apprenticeship scheme in 2012 to diversify our talent and to give bright school-leavers the opportunity to get into law without having to go to university. Some young people can’t afford university fees and some people prefer a more hands-on approach to university. Laura’s achievements are testimony that this scheme has been very successful and I’m delighted to see her and five others go further forward to our solicitor apprenticeship. Laura has made a valuable contribution to our Chelmsford office and I congratulate her on that.”