The number of solicitor apprentices at UK200 law firms has doubled since 2018, research by The Lawyer has found.
In the 2018 UK200 report, there were 75 school-leavers undertaking the Level 7 ‘Trailblazer’ Apprenticeship, which leads to qualification as a solicitor after six years. This has risen to 146 apprentices as of 2019.
Additionally, there are now 319 people taking the Level 3 Apprenticeship, a two-year programme that leads to a paralegal qualification, and can continue into the Level 7 course upon completion. This is a rise from 274 in 2018.
The number of business services apprenticeships within UK200 firms, which do not lead to a legal qualification, has also risen slightly, from 373 to 394.
That means in total, there are now 859 apprentices at UK200 law firms, up from 712 in 2018. The figure does not include apprentices working at US firms in the UK. A number of in-house legal teams at companies such as Coca-Cola European Partners and ITV have also launched schemes.
The firm with the most apprentices overall is defendant firm Plexus Law, which has 28 solicitor apprentices, 48 paralegal apprentices and 13 business services apprentices: a total of 89.
It is followed by DWF (45), Womble Bond Dickinson (35) and Kennedys (33)
A total of 96 firms have at least one apprentice in their ranks.
The legal landscape is changing, with 2019 seeing more variety of legal services providers than at any point in the history of the market. Essential reading for every firm operating in this space and those making moves into this market, the UK 200 includes essential statistics, detailed insight, focused analysis and valuable foresight to help firms strengthen their foothold into 2020 and beyond.