CUMBRIA’S first solicitor apprentice has urged others to consider a non-traditional route into law.

Holly Moxon set off on a degree apprenticeship with leading firm Cartmell Shepherd in 2017 as she pursued her long-held ambition of becoming a lawyer.

Now the 21-year-old says she has no regrets about leaving university in favour of a work-based path towards her ultimate career goal.

She says: “It’s definitely been hard work to fit in the coursework at the same time as working and learning in a legal environment, but I’ve achieved so much.

“The law is often different in practice and theory, so being able to learn both at the same time has been very beneficial.”

Holly secured a place to study law on a full-time degree course in Liverpool but returned home to Carlisle after realising university life was not for her.

It was when she was researching alternative routes into a career in law that she discovered degree apprenticeships.

Holly approached the team at Cartmell Shepherd, which has six offices across Cumbria and Northumberland, to ask if they would consider supporting the role.

She is now on track to becoming a fully qualified solicitor within six years - the same as someone who completes a university-based degree, the Legal Practice Course and a two-year training contract.

Keen to inspire other young people to consider apprenticeships, Holly has also undertaken a series of informative talks about her role at local schools and Carlisle Young Ambassadors events.

The former Nelson Tomlinson School and Trinity Sixth Form pupil said she was happy to share advice about life as a solicitor apprentice.

She says: “You have to be organised - because the pace of learning every week is very fast - as well as being self-disciplined because you’re responsible for keeping up with your work.

“This route won’t be for everyone. It’s hard to fit all of the work in, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.”

Cartmell Shepherd’s senior team now considering rolling out of more solicitor apprenticeships in the future.

Peter Stafford, managing partner, says: “Solicitor apprenticeships have until now mainly been provided by larger city firms but we could see no reason why it shouldn’t be something we offered here.”