Holly is a 5th year Solicitor Apprentice at ITV. She studied her LLB at City, University of London, and is currently studying towards the Solicitors Qualifying Exams.
1. What attracted you to a career in law?
I started to consider a career in the legal profession during the last years of secondary school. I loved studying History and English, and thought the skills that I gained from these subjects would translate well into a legal career. I carried out work experience with both a Solicitors Firm and Barristers Chambers in London, and decided this was the career for me, and decided to pursue a career as a solicitor.
I became interested in how the law affects every part of our lives, without most people realising. Everything we do is governed or influenced by the law, and I loved learning about the history and progression of the law and the legal profession. Something about the ever-changing nature of law, but also the notion that things are either right/wrong, appealed to me as a young student.
2. Tell us about your route in to ITV?
After deciding that a career in law was something that I wanted to pursue, I decided to take Law at A-Level. Throughout college, my peers were applying to university, and my teachers encouraged me to apply to study law. However, I knew this wouldn’t be the right route for me. I worried about the bottleneck of law students all trying to obtain the golden ‘training contracts’, and leaving university with a huge amount of debt, and little to no legal work experience.
I wanted to study law, but also apply it in practice, and I felt ready for the workplace. I started researching alternative routes into the legal profession, and luckily enough, the year that I left college was the same year that Solicitor Apprenticeships were first introduced.
When I realised that I could get a law degree, my SQE, qualify as a solicitor, and have 6 years of legal work experience, have my tuition fees paid and get paid a salary, I couldn’t believe my luck.
I applied to every Solicitor Apprenticeship that I could, including ITV. I had never considered media and entertainment law, nor in-house, but the culture and way of working really appealed to me. I went through the application process, along with 500 other applicants, and was eventually offered the role of first in-house Solicitor Apprentice in the UK.
4 years and a law degree later, here I am!
3. Talk us through your typical day.
A typical day, when working in the office, starts at around 5am. I arrive at work at around 7:30am and study for 2 hours (I’m a morning person rather than a night owl).
I will then work from 9:30am-6pm. I am currently sitting with the Brand Protection legal team, and work on things such as trademark registrations, naming clearance reports, litigation, and managing our intellectual property portfolio. I attend regular team meetings, and collaborate with other legal and commercial teams around the company, including the international teams, in order to implement our Brand Protection strategy.
I also have one study day a week in order to complete my SQE work, which is usually a Wednesday.
4. What do you enjoy most about working for ITV?
I love the variety of work that I am exposed to. Working in-house, there’s such a range of work that needs to be completed, mostly legal work but always with an element of business/commercial work within it.
I have had the opportunity to work on many different productions and projects, and work within 5 of ITV’s legal teams – all responsible for very different work. This is a great advantage of taking the apprenticeship route, as well as working in-house. I have worked on the same projects, but from very different angles, and have gained a birds-eye view of the company as a whole, from a legal and business perspective.
I also love working with creative people, as somebody who never considered media or entertainment, and as a non-creative person, I have learned a lot from working with creative people, and from finding answers to questions that I have never considered!
5. How do you think your role differs from the typical trainee solicitor role?
As I already have 4 years of experience working within ITV, and working in-house, I think that I feel more comfortable and experienced than a typical trainee would, coming straight from education into the workplace. This means that I am able to take on more responsibility, having more experience within the business and with the legal work that I am expected to complete. I work both under supervision but also independently, and have my own workload that I manage. Having the benefit of this experience makes me feel more confident at this point in my career than I would have done when starting my training contract. I see my journey as doing a 6 year training contract, rather than the traditional 2 years.
Also, working in-house means that I don’t work on a variety of different ‘cases’, with ‘clients’. I work on matters that affect the business, projects and any legal work that the business needs completing at the time, as well as ad-hoc queries. My ‘clients’ are essentially the business, and the areas of the business that I serve, depending on the team that I am in at the time.
A typical trainee solicitor may also have completed their studies before starting their training contract, however I am still studying and working simultaneously, as I have throughout my apprenticeship.
6. What are your top tips for prospective applicants looking to work in-house?
- Research – research the sector that you would like to enter, what sort of legal work will you be completing? Do you want to work within a niche sector, or a broad sector?
- Choose somewhere that you have a genuine interest in – it’s so rewarding to work within an area of law/business where you have a genuine interest in your work, and the outcome that it produces.
- Commercial Awareness – make sure that you are aware of current issues that could affect the area of law/business that you want to work in. This is both impressive to employers and helpful within your job role.
- Use LinkedIn – in my opinion, this is the best platform for finding in-house opportunities, I love browsing!
My final tip is, go for it! I have loved my experience in-house, and I would encourage anybody looking to work in-house to absolutely go for it.
7. Wildcard question: Would you rather have x-ray vision or magnified hearing? Why?
I would have to go for X-Ray vision, as I am already terrible for hearing other people’s conversations and unintentionally eavesdropping. Also, my office is so loud and busy that I don’t think I could cope with it being magnified!