Hear from our apprentices

Apprenticeships at Bristows are another path to success that we pride ourselves on as a firm.

Kalay Mayan

 

Kalay is part of our first-year solicitor apprentice cohort, having joined the firm in September 2023. He is currently doing his first seat in the Commercial and IP transactions team.

 

Why were you keen to apply for a role at Bristows?

I was instantly attracted by the broad range of practice areas that Bristows specialises in and found it exciting that I would have the opportunity to experience working in so many areas over the next six years of my apprenticeship. The Commercial IP and transactions team particularly caught my eye as they work at the forefront of a niche area, however the work we do is also broad, spanning from IP in various licensing to IP in AI. The firm’s core values were also a factor, I was particularly drawn by the values of being friendly and curious as it portrays both an amicable and inquisitive environment which aligns with my own approach to learning.

Why did you choose to do a solicitor apprenticeship?

During sixth form, my aspiration to become a solicitor was clear. Having completed work experience in other commercial law firms, I grew an interest in commercial law due to the close intersection between law and business. It was then my eagerness that pushed me to do a solicitor apprenticeship as I wanted to not only study for my law degree, but also start working in a commercial law firm straight after leaving sixth form.

Has anything surprised you about the apprenticeship route and how has it been so far?

With it being my first time learning via both university and work at the same time, I have been amazed by the level of knowledge that I have gained since the beginning my apprenticeship – both academically and practically. Though studying at university and working simultaneously may sound daunting, it is definitely doable, and comes with the invaluable reward of academic, practical and professional development.

In addition to this, I have also been surprised by the level of exposure to different work I have been given since joining the firm. Having been only five months since starting my apprenticeship, tasks I have done include proof reading, contractual analysis, due diligence, contract drafting and anonymising, and exciting research in areas of law, tech and science. This exposure did not come all at once, it has been gradual and  I have had support from my colleagues along the way.

Did you have any worries before joining the firm?

I was not worried prior to joining as I had been in direct communications with the firm’s HR team who provided assistance and answers to any worries that I had. My first day at the firm was not filled with worry, but instead pure excitement!

Please could you tell us a bit more about the apprenticeship programme and what it involves?

The solicitor apprenticeship is a six-year programme. I work four days a week and have one day a week dedicated to studying for my LLB with BPP law school. Upon completing my law degree, I will proceed to do the SQE1 and SQE2 qualifications and ultimately qualify as a solicitor upon passing both assessments and my training contract with Bristows.

How is the feedback process?

The feedback process is always timely and constructive. Working closely with various colleagues who provide feedback helps me to learn from mistakes and to continuously improve the way that I approach and complete different tasks.

Please could you talk us through the recruitment process?

The first stage was the submission of a CV and an online application asking about my education, experiences, motivations and interests. The next stage was an online interview where I was asked to provide more detail about my A-Levels and my motivations for doing a solicitor apprenticeship at Bristows. Following this stage was the assessment centre day which involved me doing a group exercise, a written task, a presentation and an interview. The assessment day also included opportunities to socialise and meet other trainees and associates from the firm.

How did you prepare for the assessment day and was there anything you would have approached differently?

I made sure that I had clear and concise answers prepared for key questions such as “why Bristows?” and “why the solicitor apprenticeship?”. While researching the firm was important, remembering to be myself and to be confident in my ability was just as important during the entire day. If I had to do something differently, it would be to try to engage in more conversations outside of the activities on the assessment day, as showing your personality is a huge asset.

 

Our apprentices

Find out more information from some of our current, and former, apprentices across the firm.