Eversheds has become the first firm to offer a six-year paid apprenticeship as a route into becoming a qualified solicitor.
The firm revealed today (16 March) it would offer the Government’s Trailblazer level seven apprenticeship, with candidates now able to apply for a start date in September 2016.
Eversheds will take on eight legal apprentices this year, all of which will be offered a position at the firm on completion.
The Trailblazer apprenticeship leads to qualification as a solicitor following six years of paid learning followed by an assessment by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Training will be delivered by BPP University Law School.
Successful applicants will be paid a starting salary of £15,200 outside London and £17,200 in London, which will go up each year.
Eversheds chief executive Bryan Hughes said the firm was “committed to unlocking and developing talent at all levels at Eversheds” and he looked forward to “welcoming more appentices into our team as a result of this new scheme”.
BPP director of legal apprenticeships added: “BPP and Eversheds have a long track record of developing schemes that help ensure that the brightest future lawyers get the support needed to thrive, regardless of their background.
“The new tailored apprenticeship addresses this change, providing young people with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed, and allowing them to succeed within a leading international law firm.”
The firm already runs an apprenticeship scheme named Eversheds Aspire for 15 candidates a year for a number of HR, finance and legal roles. However the Trailblazer programme is the first to end with a full solicitor qualification.
Aspire will continue to run at the firm, though some legal apprentices are expected to be moved over to Trailblazer.
The Trailblazer apprenticeship is available to applicants with a minimum of five GCSEs who are expecting good A-Level results. Applications are open until 8 April.
Addleshaw Goddard launched a legal apprenticeship scheme back in August 2013 offering candidates qualification up to an NVQ Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services.Norton Rose Fulbright also offers apprenticeships in its support departments.