Law firms are business office operations like any other company, and as such require the services of plenty of non-legal staff. These could range from human resources (HR) professionals looking after the welfare and recruitment of law firm staff members, to administration, personal assistants, and office management. There are also apprenticeship programmes catering to those with just a few GCSEs as well as those with A-levels, so you do not have to stay in school until you’re 18 years old if you want to start working in a law firm early on.
The other apprenticeships and positions are just as vital as the legal staff within law firms, so if it’s an industry you are interested in but would rather take a different role within it, then there is plenty for you to choose from. Take a look at a few of the options available to school leavers.
Business administration apprenticeships in a law firm
Administrators handle the day-to-day tasks in a law firm’s office and make sure things run smoothly. This sort of work requires a strong sense of responsibility, accuracy and attention to detail. This covers roles that involve organising people and resources such as:
- executive assistants
- administration assistants
- data entry clerks
- office juniors
As a business and administration apprentice, your exact duties will depend on your employer, but could include:
- typing up board meeting documents
- putting financial information together in spreadsheets
- sending the daily post
- faxing and photocopying confidential documents
These business administration apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher levels, so school leavers with GCSEs can access them as easily as those with A-levels.
HR apprenticeships in a law firm
Human resources (HR) is a vital part of any business, and a team of skillful HR professionals can help a company achieve commercial success through the management of current and future staff.
HR are in charge of all the hiring and firing at an organisation, as well as the training of current employees, ensuring they are effective in their job role.
School leavers with A-levels wanting to work in HR in law firms could do a Level 5 human resources management apprenticeship, and train in roles like HR executive, HR officer, assistant HR manager and assistant HR adviser. School leavers with just GCSEs could do an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in HR support.
Responsibilities on a programme like this are likely to include:
- Handling day-to-day queries and providing HR advice
- Working on a range of HR processes, ranging from transactional to relatively complex procedures, from recruitment through to retirement
- Using HR systems to keep records
- Providing relevant HR information to the business
- Working with the business on HR changes