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The University of Law and Freshfields partner on paralegal apprenticeship scheme

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (Freshfields) has launched a new paralegal apprenticeship scheme, which offers aspiring paralegals an alternative route into the profession.

Freshfields will offer apprenticeships at its Legal Services Centre in Manchester, with the first intake starting in October 2016. The scheme will offer apprentices a flexible and less costly route to enter the legal profession.

During the two year programme, students will study for a paralegal apprenticeship delivered by The University of Law (ULaw) in partnership with apprenticeship specialists, Damar Training. Apprentices will benefit from the partners' longstanding vocational legal studies experience and the support and mentorship of tutors with extensive practical and academic expertise.

The apprenticeship scheme has been specifically designed for Freshfields’ Legal Services Centre. It aims to improve access to the legal profession for talented and ambitious students from a diverse range of backgrounds while supporting Freshfields’ ambition to provide outstanding client service and career progression opportunities from Manchester.

The programme will combine the foundation-level knowledge required for a new entrant into a legal office with the more technical rigour expected of a high performing paralegal.

During the apprenticeship, students will cover a number of key subject areas, including the English legal system; corporate law, contract law; and legal and business skills, alongside invaluable work-based learning at Freshfields. The programme will in addition incorporate modules delivered interactively online through ULaw’s i-LLB, matched to the apprentices' area of work.

The Head of the Legal Services Centre at Freshfields, Olivia Balson, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the Legal Services Centre and for our future apprentices. The Legal Services Centre plays a significant role in adding value and efficiency to our global clients, and it is vital that we continue to attract and develop the very best talent and maintain our reputation as an employer of choice. We want to encourage wider access to law and possibilities for progression for the very best talents. These apprenticeships offer a flexible route for talented students to join the legal profession and opportunities to those already in the firm to nurture these talents.”

Jason O’Malley, Director of Apprenticeships at ULaw, said: “We are delighted to work with Freshfields and Damar Training on this new paralegal apprenticeship scheme. We are confident that the practical nature of the education offered, alongside substantive work-based learning, will provide valuable new employees for Freshfields and an alternative and robust route into the profession for young people interested in the Law.”

Jonathan Bourne, Managing Director of Damar Limited, said: “We are very pleased that Freshfields has seized the opportunity provided by legal apprenticeships to attract and develop talented young people who have decided not to follow the traditional academic route into the profession. We look forward to working with Freshfields and ULaw to deliver this innovative and exciting programme."