The University of Law (ULaw) is delighted to welcome the first group of Graduate Solicitor Apprentices preparing to take the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) from various firms and organisations including Deloitte Legal, the Bank of England, Virgin Media (Liberty Global), Keoghs and Fieldfisher.
This is the first cohort of law graduates who are able to start out on the SQE route to qualification via an apprenticeship, making the legal education landscape more accessible as students can continue to learn while they earn and not incur any fees. The apprenticeships will also benefit businesses by allowing them to support existing staff, such as paralegals on their journey to legal qualification. The use of the apprenticeship levy also offers new talent pipelines to firms who have not had the budget to take on trainees but can now afford to do so.
The cutting-edge blended learning programme will see apprentices build the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for legal practice while working towards the SQE1 & 2 assessments and building up their Qualifying Work Experience (QWE).
The two and a half years’ apprenticeship requires one day per week to be dedicated to off-the-job study and will allow students to study independently, following detailed guidance while supervised by a subject matter specialist tutor, preparing apprentices for the SQE1 assessment in May 2022 and the SQE2 assessment in April 2023.
Alongside this, learning will be supplemented by regular one-to-one coaching and skills development in the workplace from our experienced, qualified solicitor skills coaches. Each apprentice will also be assigned to a ULaw campus to enable them to use our extensive library services, pastoral and learning support and access extra-curricular talks and activities.
Rachel Hossack, Partner and Deloitte Legal Training Principal, said: “We’re looking to build a new generation of legal talent and to achieve this we want to have lawyers from different backgrounds with different life experiences. This is the way to build a strong team with a diversity of ideas – and that’s how we will make the best impact for our clients. The SQE has given us access to a more diverse talent pool and demonstrates our commitment not only to the growth of Deloitte Legal but also to opening up the legal profession.”
Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice Chancellor and CEO at The University of Law, said: “We pride ourselves on delivering innovative and practical teaching to prepare the next generation of legal minds for the working world. The Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme matches industry knowledge with proven teaching methods to ensure that our apprentices can fulfil their potential in the legal sector. It’s hugely exciting to see our first apprentices starting out on the new SQE route.”
Find out more about the Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship programme here.