Life as a Graduate Solicitor Apprentice within the Care  team

By Ellie Messenger

Published In: Child Care

The care team represent parents, family members, carers of children and children (via their Children’s Guardian) in care proceedings. We specialise in offering expert advice and guidance in childcare law, from child protection issues to care proceedings.

I began my career as a paralegal within the Care team at Switalskis. I joined the team  after completing my law degree at The University of York and have been surrounded by a team of motivated and supportive colleagues ever since.


My time is divided between both the South and West Yorkshire Child Care teams which has allowed me to establish connections with several highly skilled senior solicitors. The blend of working closely with both teams has influenced me to appreciate difference in expert opinion. My colleagues have provided me with the opportunity to build a solid foundation of legal knowledge and skills which I have applied when carrying out day to day tasks and dealing with clients.


In January this year, I began my Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship with Switalskis. The Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship is a diverse learning experience that will provide me with the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience alongside the completion of my Solicitors Qualifying Examinations. I will spend 20% of my working week studying with the remainder of my week gaining experience through my role at Switalskis. During my apprenticeship I will also have the opportunity to rotate seats, as our trainee cohort does.


As part of my apprenticeship, I often represent our clients at Public Law Outline meetings, shadow senior counsel at court, draft statements and deal with initial enquiries. I also help clients both face to face and in person by explaining any documents to them and take instructions.


In summary, my role provides me with the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience from people who all have unique styles to their practice. It will give me exposure to the different work that is carried out within various departments which, in turn, will assist me to develop a well-rounded skill set and a broader understanding of the legal profession.

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Ellie has worked in the legal sector for one year.  She is a Graduate Solicitor Apprentice in our Child Care team.

Graduate Solicitor Apprentice

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