Apprenticeships: you’re hired!

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  • With a glut of LPC graduates who not do not have to be paid the SRA's minimum salary and do not have a TC, I wonder how many more law firms, other than those already signed up, are going to be interested in taking on an 18 year old as a part of their legal practice.

    From the apprentice's point of view it's not idea either. If they want to branch out into something different at some point (as quite a few lawyers do), they won't have a degree to fall back on.

    Whilst not all areas of practice require much client contact, some, such as Private Client, Family etc do. Trainees can expect to meet clients far earlier after they have started, whereas I cannot see a law firm being bold enough to stick an apprentice in a room with a client at least until the apprentice has spend a significant amount of time at the firm.

    I also worry about the quality and professionalism of the legal sector (which is a significant earner for the economy in the UK's service-based industry) being affected by the rolling out of this new route into law. No doubt competition amongst applicants for an apprenticeship will go some way towards improving the quality of the intake, but nonetheless, a university degree, a GDL if necessary, and an LPC is arguably a better way of ensuring more mature people, with a track record of academic (and therefore arguably cerebral) capability get in to the profession.

    It also appears from this article that apprentices are likely to get pidgeon-holed into a particular area of practice. However, notwithstanding the general trend towards solicitors becoming more specialised in a particular area, an industry-sector approach to client's needs requires more awareness of relevant aspects to work, just think of an acquisition for example and all the areas that a solicitor must know are relevant. I would be interested to know whether an apprentice who had been brought up solely in the property department would be conscious that something like the effects of TUPE (as an example from employment law) on a business/asset acquisition would have to be considered.

    Perhaps I'm just misinformed, and I won't deny that there is a certain disappointment that, whilst I would not choose it, I did not at least have the option to do this five years ago (given the fiasco with the trainee minimum wage).

    However, whilst I concede the above, I do not agree with the incessant drive to make everything more "accessible". Quite frankly, some things are meant to be hard, otherwise we'd all just be lawyers and doctors, wouldn't we? It requires commitment and self-confidence to get into debt and spend x number of years studying to become a lawyer and this is something anyone can do. There are loans, grants and bursaries available and you can finance yourself through uni, no matter what your parent's financial status. Having put it like that, I can see why the apprenticeship scheme is attractive; but not necessarily as good.

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  • I am not saying that school leavers should not be given opportunities in the legal field , first must consider about the people who finished their LLB and LPC and still finding hard to establish themselves in the legal field. I am certain that there are candidates who are without jobs, even unable to become a paralegal with LLB and LPC.

    please consider those people who invested lots of money and time into it.

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  • i 15 and rather intrested in doing a apprenticeship as a lawyer after year11 however i would want to work my way up to be a barrister however i don't want to be in debt by going to uni, can get this far up by being an apprentice and could i choose the are of law i wanted to work in?

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  • Hi Alice,
    There isn't currently an apprenticeship route for the bar, but there are increasing numbers of opportunities to become a legal executive or solicitor. You could always convert to the bar later in your career.

  • I am 19 years old and have now completed college after completing two years of working on Btec Sport and Coaching levels. One of my Dads friends is a Lawyer and did an apprenticeship. I am finding it hard to find work, so i believe an apprenticeship is right for me. After i spoke to my dads friend, i decided that i wanted to get into this kind of buissness as i found it quite interesting. Do you know of any apprenticeships that would be worth considering?

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  • How do you convert to a solicitor from a legal executive? Do you have to go through the traditional route?
    Also, are there specific solicitor apprenticeships available to non graduates, or are they just legal executive apprenticeships?

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  • Hi there,
    I'm from South America and I've come across the term "solicitor's apprentice". Cld someone please explain to me who this person is? Is he a lawyer? is he a student studying to become a solicitor/lawyer?
    I've been reading quite a lot but can't figure it out.
    Thanks a lot,

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