An apprentice's perspective: Jennifer Chapman

As proud global partners of this year’s Dive In Festival, and in support of the annual theme of #time4inclusion, we canvassed the views of some of our legal apprentices on life at Kennedys, their careers, and what diversity and inclusion means to them.

Our award-winning UK apprenticeship programme, launched in 2012, sees Kennedys actively recruit from schools and colleges and welcome people to the firm from the age of 18, is something that, according to Partner and Board member Suzanne Liversidge, “allows us to reach people from a much wider range of backgrounds who more accurately represent the diversity of those we serve”.

In the latest instalment of our Legal Apprentice interviews we spoke to Jennifer Chapman, a Solicitor Apprentice based in our Manchester office.

“Being given the opportunity to get involved as one of the team from the start,” says Jennifer, when asked what has been her favourite aspect of the apprenticeship so far.

Jennifer, who is part of Kennedys’ September 2016 cohort, works within the firm’s Insurance Division in a team that focuses on defending claims against a range of professionals. As part of a global network, Jennifer’s team has regular contact with other professional indemnity experts within the firm. It’s only been two years since Jennifer started her apprenticeship but she is thoroughly enjoying the balance between real-life experience and classroom learning.

No two days are the same, which has enabled me to learn from a variety of people, situations and contexts.

Jennifer Chapman, Solicitor Apprentice

Jennifer Chapman-square.jpg

Jennifer says: “All of my team are very supportive with both my practical and academic learning, especially my supervisor. I also like how the academic modules I study fit into the work I complete day to day, so I am not studying in isolation and I feel like I am gaining a greater depth of knowledge.”

During the last two years, the firm has been awarded the ‘Top Employer - Law’ award at the AllAboutSchoolLeavers Awards in both 2017 and 2018. The success of the Legal Apprenticeship at Kennedys, according to Jennifer, is how varied and enjoyable it can be.

Reflecting on the work she is involved in, Jennifer says: “I enjoy the variety of work, as professional indemnity spans a wide range of professions and, every day, I am involved in something different. I assist with a wide range of files and handle a few smaller value files of my own. No two days are the same, which has enabled me to learn from a variety of people, situations and contexts.”

Following on from last week’s Dive In Festival and National Inclusion Week, Jennifer shared her thoughts on what diversity and inclusion mean to her.

“To me this means that people are recruited from all backgrounds and walks of life. It means gaining the best talent, with no barriers, and making a positive change towards inclusion. It also means working with people, no matter their gender, race or background, to achieve a mutual target.”