Reasons to work at Womble Bond Dickinson

Posted: 30th of January 2020 by

Hannah – 1st year Apprentice Solicitor, Southampton

I chose to work for WBD because of the focus they put on wellbeing, professional development and support.  WBD is in the top 100 law firms and the variety of interesting work and high profile clients to be involved in is something that really stuck out to me.  It is unique to find a firm that provides those opportunities but cares about people at the core of everything they do. WBD are heavily invested in crating healthy, happy solicitors who are brilliant at their jobs and who excel in client relationships.  This is very apparent through the recruitment process and even more some when you start work. From my very first day people from across the firm have been so welcoming and helpful, from partner level to support staff everyone is there to help and make sure that you are doing OK.  The investment WBD put into the apprenticeships is brilliant, so far I have been part of the WBD apprenticeship workshops where we are sent to Newcastle and Bristol to learn softer skills such as knowing your personality type and how to work to your strengths, negotiating, skills for study and work such as avoiding procrastination, developing your personal brand, understanding how  the wider law firm works, and presentation skills to name a few. There is a massive emphasis on wellbeing with continuous initiatives across the firm, most recently I have been invited to attend an 'Energise You' day which is all about mental health and staying physically healthy, we were also gifted a book called 'Feel Great, Be the Best you Can Be'. It is very hard to find a firm that offers such great professional opportunity, personal investment as well as caring about your wellbeing. 

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship

The people in my team is what has made this apprenticeship so good for me within my first 5 months.  The environment is fun and supportive and I am learning so much already and getting involved in high profile cases.  I am surprised at how much I have learned so far and how excited I am to be at work most days. I have really enjoyed the apprenticeship workshops and been able to learn a lot about myself and how best to approach work situations, it has contributed to me feeling like a very valued part of the business already. 

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of applying for an apprenticeship

I have my team and colleagues/friends across the wider business for helping me stay positive throughout the first few months of the apprenticeship because I did feel overwhelmed at the challenge of balancing work and study.  The advice I would give to someone starting an apprenticeship would be don't feel overwhelmed, everyone will feel the same it's not just you! Look at things in small chunks and strive to achieve small things at a time, don't look at the whole first year as a whole just progress at your own pace and ALWAYS talk to someone if you are struggling.  You will be given a buddy to talk to but anyone in the firm will understand and be happy to listen or help.

Advice I would give in applying for an apprenticeship role would be let your personality shine through.  WBD l know that between studying and what you learn at work that you are more than capable of learning the technical aspects of the role.  What they want to see is how you will fit in in the office and what unique factor can you bring, that may be your life experience, how you connect with people, your passion for something or just the way you engage when you talk.  WBD really value individuals and want you to be yourself.  

Finally, don't be put off if you think you are not a typical apprentice!  I am 37 and have swapped careers and decided to start again and I fit in perfectly.  I may struggle with certain aspects like learning to study again but people support me with that, and there are things I bring from the experience I have had which are valuable to my role.  If you want to do this don't feel held back because you don't think it's for you!

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