As Yorkshire marks the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week, Leeds law firm Clarion is celebrating 22-year-old Casey McGregor becoming the first person to complete her paralegal apprenticeship with the firm; she is now a qualified paralegal, specialising in Court of Protection Costs work.
Casey joined Clarion’s Costs and Litigation Funding team in 2017 and chose to undertake a paralegal apprenticeship which included completing CILEx qualifications up to Level 3.
When Clarion launched its apprenticeship programme in 2013, it joined forces with training provider Damar in Greater Manchester to support the apprentices as they combine on-the-job learning with academic study. There are currently a total of 14 young people in the firm undertaking a variety of apprenticeships.
“We are hugely proud of Casey – this is a great achievement, particularly given the challenges she has faced over the last year with disruptions due to the pandemic,” said Stephanie Kaye, senior associate in Clarion’s Costs and Litigation Funding team.
“We work in a very niche area of the law and realised that the most effective way of building the experienced team we need was to grow our own talent by taking on ambitious, young people who had an appetite to learn, and then investing in training them.
“With seven other apprentices currently in the Costs team, Casey has proved that this is a great route into a career in the law – she is now a qualified paralegal with three years’ experience behind her and no university debts. She is a big part of the team and we believe that supporting young people like her on their career path will be integral to the continued growth of the practice.”
Casey said: “I don’t think that many people are aware that they can get into the law via an apprenticeship, but the idea of working and learning at the same time really appealed to me. At times it has been difficult, but I’ve had so much support from Clarion and the training provider that it’s been a great experience overall.
“I really enjoy working at Clarion and know that the firm will help me to progress – I’m already planning to start studying for my Level 6 CILEx Diploma in Law qualification, the equivalent of an honours degree, and become a chartered legal executive.”
Helen Saunders, head of HR at Clarion, said: “The success of our ongoing apprenticeship programme is testament to the hard work and talent of Casey and others like her within Clarion. They are all making the most of the opportunities afforded them and we are delighted that we are developing future talent and they are playing a valuable role in the firm’s continued growth.
“We currently have four more opportunities within our Costs and Litigation Funding team, so we look forward to expanding this winning formula in the future.”
Kim Powell from Damar said: “We are delighted for Casey. She has been a true trailblazer, being the first to complete the paralegal apprenticeship at her firm, particularly in such a difficult year.
“Her success shows that apprenticeships can provide a highly valuable pathway into the legal profession. We look forward to hearing how Casey’s career develops further over the coming years, as well as continuing to work with Clarion on their exceptional apprenticeship programme.”
Clarion has a 250-strong team, including 28 partners, and last year achieved national recognition in The Sunday Times ‘Best small companies to work for’ with Clarion becoming the highest ranked law firm in the UK.