Apprenticeships LIVE – Legal – Tuesday 9th July from 9:30am till 1:00pm

We will be meeting apprentices from different companies within the legal sector to discuss their journey as an apprentice and why they chose an apprenticeship in instead of continuing in full time education.


Timings for the broadcasts;


9:30am – Forbes Solicitors
Meet Carla Jenkinson, a HR Advisor, Sarah Holland, a Level III Legal Apprentice and Aadil Chopdat, a Graduate Apprentice Of Business Administration Level II at Forbes Solicitors


10:30am – Weightmans
Meet Jordan Coulton, a Paralegal from Weightmans


11:30am – Bidwell Henderson
Meet Rebecca Bidwell, Director, Roman White, an Administration Apprentice and Chelsea Allcock, a Business Development Assistant


12:30pm – Addleshaw Goddard
Meet Phoebe Oakes, a Paralegal Apprentice, Addleshaw Goddard


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The Panel

Carla Jenkinson

HR Advisor, Forbes Solicitors

When I left school, I attended at College to undertake a BTEC in Sports Science and although I loved sport, I decided College wasn’t for me and I’d keep sport as more of a hobby. I wanted to be hands on, working and gaining qualifications and experience. The whole ‘earn whilst you learn’ approach really appealed to me. However, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do! Through my local careers office, I applied for the role of Office Assistant at Forbes Solicitors in one of the Blackburn offices.

I worked as an Office Assistant and completed a Level II NVQ in Business Administration. I progressed through the firm into various roles within the Crime Department – Trainee Secretary, Secretary, Legal Clerk and Crown Court Caseworker / Accredited Police Station representative. I did this gaining qualifications along the way; Forbes Ilex for Secretaries and Cardiff University’s Police Station Accreditation. All qualifications supported by Forbes.

After working in the Crime Department for over 10 years, I decided I wanted to explore other areas. I therefore moved into Human Resources and completed CIPD qualifications at Level 3 and 5 in Human Resource Management, both supported and sponsored by Forbes. I have been working in HR for over 4 years now and hold the role of Firm-wide HR Advisor with the Firm. As part of my role, I am involved with recruitment, and in particular recruitment of apprentices. I am also an Employer Ambassador for the Lancashire Apprenticeship Ambassador Network so regularly attend local careers events promoting apprenticeships.

To say I didn’t know what I wanted to do when leaving college, I am really glad that I decided to undertake an apprenticeship and would therefore encourage students to explore an apprenticeship as an option when looking at their next steps.

Sarah Holland

Level III Legal Apprentice, Forbes Solicitors

I first started Forbes straight after finishing my A – Level exams, and whilst knowing I didn’t want to go to University,  I saw Forbes as a well-known reputable firm with room for progression.  I attended a careers event and saw the apprenticeships advertised.

I started my apprenticeship journey as an office assistant in the Family Department at the Blackburn office.  At the same time as working, I also undertook my level II apprenticeship in Business Administration.  At the end of this apprenticeship level I moved to the Chorley office to be an Admin Assistant in the Housing and Regeneration (litigation) Department as this gave me more responsibility and was the next step up.

In September 2018 I became a Trainee Paralegal.  With this role I am also undertaking the CILEX level III paralegal apprenticeship which is a great opportunity and I am really enjoying it.  This apprenticeship enables me to learn new concepts which I find interesting as I did not do any law subjects at GCSE or A – Level, so it really gives me the basic knowledge I can build on whilst working in the law environment. It involves watching online webinars/ live workshops once a week alongside gathering coursework for mid-point assessments working with my assessor.  I have just recently sat my first exam in relation to introduction to law and practice and I will shortly be staring my next
module on Contract Law.

As I did not know what I wanted to do when I left sixth form, I am so happy I chose to come to Forbes.  It has opened up so many amazing opportunities that I had never thought about before and the apprenticeships Forbes offer are excellent.

Aadil Chopdat

Graduate Apprentice of Business Administration Level II, Forbes Solicitors

I left school and went onto college to study A Levels in Law, Business and Sociology. However, I decided that college was not for me and joined Forbes Solicitors to become an Office Assistant based in Preston. I always had a passion to study law and work in a legal background.

I am really enjoying my time at Forbes and also the training that they have provided to me whilst I have been completing my Business Administration Apprenticeship. I have also gained touch-typing qualifications and completed a legal text processing course which has helped me to move up in the firm.

Since completing the apprenticeship, I have moved on to become a Trainee Paralegal in the Crime department at Preston. This has helped boost my confidence and adapt into my new role. I did not think that I would be in a role like this at such an early stage in my career, however I am now keen to pursue a career in Criminal Law. I hope to gain a Police Station Accreditation and one day become a qualified practising lawyer.

Jordan Coulton

Paralegal, Weightmans LLP

I’m Jordan Coulton, I am 25 and I am not only Weightmans’ first higher legal apprentice but the country’s first higher legal apprentice. I have been with the firm since June 2013 and have worked across 3 practice areas; Employment, Disease and now Regulatory. As a Paralegal within the Regulatory team I am responsible for preparing healthcare inquests on behalf of NHS Trust clients as well as preparing defences on behalf of medical practitioners who are being investigated by the General Medical Council. I am due to complete my apprenticeship at the end of this year and will qualify within the Regulatory team as a Charted Legal Executive.

Phoebe Oakes

Paralegal Apprentice, Addleshaw Goddard

At college I studied Law, Religious Studies and Sociology. I applied for university and was successful in getting all five offers and I thought University was the route I wanted to take into a legal career. I was not aware at the time that legal apprenticeships were available and could lead me to the same place as a university graduate. Through doing research I discovered that I could do a qualification and work at the same time, which has been hugely beneficial as the work I do at AG has contributed to my skill set which I can use to further my studies.

Choosing an apprenticeship was definitely the best option for me as I am able to gain experience in an international law firm and have had the opportunity to work with some high profile clients and attend client meetings, which I would not have had the chance to do at this stage if I had gone to University. The lectures are one day a week and then I work in the Manchester office Tuesday to Friday which gives me the chance to implement what I have learnt into my working week. I also recently attended a Northern Powerhouse Apprenticeship Summit where I got the chance to hear talks from MP’s and CEO’s. This is just one example of great opportunities that are available when doing an

Rebecca Bidwell

Director, Bidwell Henderson

Rebecca has over 7 years’ experience as a Litigation Executive/Legal Executive. Over 10 years’ experience as a Law Costs Draftsman and over 8 years’ managerial experience. Rebecca began her legal career in 2002. Rebecca was employed as a Fee Earner for CS2 Lawyers (now Spencers Solicitors) where she gained experience in high value civil litigation cases. Rebecca developed a keen interest in costs and additionally accepted the role of Cost Negotiator for a team of Fee Earners. During this time Rebecca studied and qualified as a Legal Executive

Rebecca worked for a leading firm of Law Costs Draftsmen (like legal accountants) as a Manager for a number of years.

In 2014 she, with two colleagues, set up new company Bidwell Henderson Costs Consultants Ltd with a focus on quality of work at reasonable rates by using technology and flexible working to their advantage.

The company has gone from a team of three to a team of fourty two in less than five years and turnover has doubled each year for the last three years.

Rebecca focusses her time on recruitment and marketing. Rebecca is the direct supervisor of Chelsea Allcock who is our apprentice case study. Rebecca saw Chelsea’s commitment, determination and skill set and has been instrumental in securing Chelsea two promotions within her first year at Bidwell Henderson. Chelsea’s success has created new job opportunities for apprentices at Bidwell Henderson going forward.

Chelsea Allcock

Business Development Assistant, Bidwell Henderson

Chelsea has three A levels in Law, Psychology and Sociology.

Having always had an interest in law she joined Bidwell Henderson in 2017 as an Administrator. Chelsea’s role included booking in files, reporting, arranging couriers, reception duties and assisting with meetings. Chelsea is undertaking a Level 3 Business and Administration Apprenticeship and has recently moved in to the business development arm of Bidwell Henderson. Chelsea assists Director Rebecca Bidwell with marketing, recruitment and general business growth. Chelsea’s role now includes arranging seminars, training and meetings. She manages the company’s social media platforms and assists with various aspects of recruitment. Chelsea is the Alfreton office’s health and safety officer and supervises work experience students.

Roman White

Administration Apprentice, Bidwell Henderson

Roman joined the firm on the 17 June 2019 as an Administration Apprentice. Roman assisted us with work experience prior to this time and was offered a full time job in June. Roman is currently assisting our administration team with photocopying, scanning, booking in files and reception duties. He will also be assisting our processing department as required. In his spare time Roman enjoys playing football, watching TV and playing games, He also likes to solve puzzles and mathematical problems.

The sponsors

  • Weightmans
  • Addleshaw Goddard
  • Bidwell Henderson
  • Forbes Solicitors


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