Shared with permission from The Law Society. Originally posted here.
Holly Moore shares their non-traditional route to becoming a solicitor, through an apprenticeship started straight out of college.
I am currently in my fifth year of a solicitor apprenticeship with ITV, having sat in four different teams, all of which involving IP in a slightly different way.
For example, when working in the production arm of the business, we were concerned mainly with trade marks, both creating and protecting them. One of my responsibilities would be to conduct a trade mark search against any proposed new title for a television programme, to ensure that the title had not been registered or used before, by ITV or any other company. We would then assess the risk involved in using this title before using it for the show, and then register it to ensure that we own the rights to use it.
Similarly, when working in the distribution side of the business, we were concerned with protecting our trade marks and formats, something which can be legally difficult to do. In order to protect our formats from being copied, we would create a ‘bible’ and protect each part of the IP, such as the title, music, font, images and distinguishing features of the show, to afford as much protection as possible.
When I started researching the different areas of legal practice, I became interested in media and intellectual property law, as I found it fascinating looking at how much work can go into protecting thoughts and ideas, and how the area of law has developed over time.
I didn’t have the opportunity to study this area of law during A-Levels, so the best way to learn about it was to learn on the job, which is what I have ended up doing!
I started my solicitor apprenticeship at ITV straight out of college, having completed my A-Levels, including an A-Level in law. I applied for a solicitor apprenticeship as I wanted to work and learn at the same time, gaining as much experience as possible to prepare me for a career in the legal industry whilst still attending university to obtain my degree and Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).
I am now in my fifth year of six and have sat with four different legal teams in ITV. In summer, I completed my final degree exams and graduated with a First-Class Honours. I am now studying towards the SQE qualifying exams in September. I am also due to undertake a seat in a private practice law firm during the final two years of my apprenticeship, to expand upon my experience and apply what I have learned from working in-house to a different setting.
I have met and worked with people from a variety of backgrounds and alternative routes into law. A number of colleagues have of course taken the traditional route of full-time university and training contract before specialising in their preferred area. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) route has also become more popular over time with more people working and studying part time to become legal executives.
I love the variety that my job offers. I get to work on different contracts and with different people every day, and deal with some crazy queries!
I also get to research interesting legal issues and apply them to practical scenarios we are faced with. I love being involved in the creative process of producing and distributing a television show.
I would advise you to do your research into this area, it is a very interesting and progressive area of law, packed with cases and interesting ideas.
I would also advise you to try work experience or speak to somebody in the industry to get their perspective on media and IP law, as you want to have a clear picture of the industry you would like to get in to.
The Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee (IPLC) welcomes any questions you may have about IP, or any discussions around the impact of Covid-19 in the IP world. Please send queries and feedback to Gurdas Sually at Gurdas.Sually@LawSociety.org.uk.