Legal apprenticeships are routes into the legal profession that involve working and studying concurrently. They have been developed by a high profile panel of law firms. The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (the SRA) and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) have also given their input as part of a Government initiative to widen access and remove the financial barriers of higher education.
As university fees continue to increase, it is thought that law apprenticeships will become increasingly popular.
The following legal apprenticeships are currently available:
Apprentices spend the majority of their time working in a law firm. Here, apprentices work on developing their skills, commercial awareness and legal knowledge in a variety of different areas of the law. This ‘work-based learning’ is blended with part-time legal study.
Apprentices will be intermittently ‘released’ to an educational institution (which is partnered with their sponsoring law firm), for around one day a week to learn about more theoretical aspects of the law. Some study may also be carried out online. Either way, about 20% of the working week will be taken up by online or offline study of some form.
As a law apprentice, you will be involved in a variety of work for different clients. Daily tasks could include:
As part of your law apprenticeship, you may also have to maintain an up-to-date portfolio of your work with examples of tasks you have undertaken. This portfolio will ultimately be used as evidence of the work you have undertaken and the experience you have gained when it comes to qualification.
The requirements of legal apprenticeships vary depending on which route you want to take. They also depend on the firms sponsoring the programmes. Most will expect applicants to have:
Watch our Q&A with a legal apprentice about how to apply, the benefits and general advice!
It is possible to progress from one apprenticeship onto the next. So, for example, following a paralegal apprenticeship, you could progress onto the chartered legal executive or solicitor apprenticeship.
Much like with any legal job, the application process will vary from firm to firm. Some may require that you submit a CV and cover, while others may have their own application questions you’ll have to answer on an online form.
When applying for legal apprenticeships, it’s important to make sure you tailor your application to the specific firm, giving reasons why you’d be the right fit for each specific firm.
How much law apprentices are paid very much depends on the sponsoring law firm. At the very minimum, as a 19-year-old beginning an apprenticeship, you’ll earn £4.15 per hour. However, apprentices can earn anything between £11,000 and £19,000 plus benefits depending on location, firm and level of apprenticeship. Unlike with the university route, you are not expected to pay anything towards your training or study.
Take a look at our deadline calendar to see which law firms are currently taking on law apprentices. The calendar not only sets out application deadlines but also entry requirements, the type of apprenticeship being offered (solicitor/paralegal etc), salary details and direct links to application forms/processes).
To learn more about how top law firm Eversheds Sutherland are offering Legal Apprenticeships watch the video below.
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