For law students who want to get straight into work, a law apprentice scheme is the perfect solution. As an exciting programme giving students the prospect to meet the requirements as a solicitor, a six-year law apprentice scheme combines hard work in a law firm and part-time university study. Whilst students with a wide range of skills, aptitudes and personalities are considered for law apprentice schemes, what is most important is that they hold a strong academic record and have the potential to contribute to their firm’s success.
The Law Apprentice Scheme Offering
Law apprenticeship schemes are designed to accommodate professional development and help prepare law students for the potentially daunting legal profession they are embarking on. Starting off in an administrative or secretarial type role, law students are taught and explained the various processes which take place within a firm. From legal research to drafting contracts and documents to supporting solicitors in the team, all of these responsibilities take place in an apprenticeship. Whist there is no set time scale to when a student progresses to different roles, it is flexible and completely dependent upon the student’s own professional development within the firm.
Over the course of the six years of the apprenticeship scheme, law students will study and complete their law degree. The apprenticeship will cover all components expected from an LLB (Hons) Law degree including modules of contract, tort, criminal law and more.
Often as a student progresses through their apprenticeship, they will produce a collection of work, or portfolio, done in each department they’ve worked. Work examples could include preparations for a deal or contract and all the relevant documentation collated, drafting client letters, and even conducting research. As progression occurs through the apprenticeship, more responsibility is given to the student including working on cases and interacting with clients.
Thorough training is provided throughout the six-year apprenticeship scheme and apprentices are taught how to assist lawyers whilst being supported by a tutor, supervisor and their law firm’s HR Manager. These managers help monitor the apprentice’s progress and assist with their portfolio of workplace evidence.
Assessments and exams will be required throughout the six-year apprenticeship programme in order to meet the obligations of the LLB degree. In addition, students must pass the Solicitor Regulation Authority centralised assessment.
Typically students who have a strong academic standing are accepted into law apprentice schemes. Seven GCSEs at grade B or higher, including English and Maths, in addition to A,B,B at A level are the minimum what law firms look for academically. Law students with extra-curricular achievement and who are both hard working and have the motivation and drive to succeed in a highly-demanding workplace make for strong candidates, too.
Salary and benefits for law apprentice schemes are competitive, starting at just over £17,000 in London and £15,000 outside of London. In addition, an average of 26 days annual leave is typical along with access to an employee recognition scheme including pension, private medical and dental, and life insurance.
Contributions to the team will be valued from the onset for any legal apprentice. If the student is resilient, hard-working and motivated, then undergoing an apprenticeship scheme is the best preparation possible for landing a role in this demanding but highly-rewarding career choice.