The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Education and a number of UK law firms and in-house teams have spearheaded a new initiative to shape the apprenticeship route into law.
Gun Judge, HR specialist at Addleshaw Goddard, has chaired a committee of employers, professional associations and regulators from across the legal profession to define new apprenticeship standards for occupations in the legal sector, as part of the Trailblazers Apprenticeship in Law initiative.
On 20 August 2014, the government approved the proposed Trailblazer standards, which will allow apprentices to qualify as a solicitor, chartered legal executive or paralegal, while working for participating employers.
The standards meet the requirements specified by ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for qualification as a chartered legal executive or solicitor.
Working alongside the Law Society and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), the Trailblazers will now consult on the second phase of development to create a curriculum and assessment process that complies with existing SRA and IPS regulations for all solicitors and chartered legal executives, before the new apprenticeship standards are launched next year.
The existing CILEx-accredited Apprenticeships in Legal Services will continue in their current form alongside the new legal Trailblazer schemes until all apprenticeships make the transition to Trailblazer formats in 2017.