LINKLATERS & Paines is to sponsor a senior law lecturer to conduct a four-year research programme to examine the training needs of qualified lawyers.
As part of the terms of his research fellowship, which is in professional legal education, Scott Slorach, the principal law lecturer at Nottingham Law School, will help Linklaters to develop its corporate training programme.
Slorach said the unusual project would also see him talk to other leading firms as well as Linklaters to establish the best ways to link training to on-the-job experience.
"The amount of research and writing on the LPC and undergraduate courses is huge, but there is very little written on post-qualification training," said Slorach, who begins the Fellowship this month.
Ann Marie Cooper, Linklaters' head of training, said Slorach's project was "akin" to Linklaters' "holistic approach to training", adding the firm was now working with business consultants PA Sundridge Park to develop its management training programme.
Professor Avrom Sherr, of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, welcomed the development.
"This is the first time someone has been sponsored by a law firm in the managerial elements of research," he said.
"It is to be commended that a firm is considering the long-term approach towards the development of proper links between legal education and training, professional work and legal careers, especially as the career paths of lawyers look likely to be subject to change in the future."
Slorach, who has worked for both McKenna & Co and Allen & Overy, is an expert on vocational training. He has chaired Law Society workshops on training-related subjects as well as helping to design Nottingham Law School's Legal Practice Course.