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Should I do a Law Apprenticeship?

A law apprenticeship can be an excellent way to start a career within the legal sector. However, it can be daunting trying to decide if the apprenticeship route is best when it comes to your future. We’ve put together some information and advice on law apprenticeships to help make your research a little easier.

By Grant Longstaff. Published 9 August 2022. Last updated 6 February 2023.

What law apprenticeships are available?

There are a number law apprenticeships currently available. Depending on what kind of role you are looking to move into, you can find apprenticeships which will lead to a career as a legal secretary, a paralegal or a chartered legal executive. You can even do a law apprenticeship to become a solicitor.

ULaw has developed three apprenticeships for those looking to become a solicitor. First, there is the Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship for those who have completed their A Levels or equivalent qualifications. For those who have already completed a degree, there is the opportunity to do the Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship or the Graduate Apprenticeship with Law Essentials.

Who are law apprenticeships aimed at?

Formal education, such as university, isn’t for everyone, so a law apprenticeship can offer an alternative route into a rewarding and competitive career. Although they can be challenging, there are several benefits to an apprenticeship.

As an apprentice you will be employed by a law firm, so you’ll earn a salary from the moment you start. This may appeal to those people who are looking to avoid student debt, as your training costs are covered by your employer and the government.

Additionally, apprentices will gain access to real life, practical experience of working within law. As an apprentice you’ll spend around 80% of your time working, with the other 20% set aside for learning and training. You’ll be required to work on a variety of tasks from researching and preparing legal documents, to interacting with clients and attending court proceedings. The experience and skills you learn on the job will inform your studies and will be invaluable to your future employability.

What qualifications do I need to study a law apprenticeship?

The qualifications needed to undertake a law apprenticeship can depend on the level of the apprenticeship and what each law firm is looking for. However, most employers will look for you to have 5 GCSE’s (including Maths and English) at grade C/4 or above and 3 A-Levels (or an equivalent qualification) at grade C or above.

For the Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship and the Graduate Apprenticeship with Law Essentials, you will likely require a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade of 2.2, or equivalent, as well as having GCSE’s graded C/4 or above. You’ll also have to meet several requirements set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Bear in mind this is just a guide. Law firms will set their own requirements so may require higher grades or additional qualifications, so always fully check the job posting before you apply.

It’s also worth noting that it’s possible to move from one apprenticeship to another. For example, if you completed a Level 3 Paralegal apprenticeship you would then be able to progress onto the Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship.

What is the average salary of a law apprentice?

The average salary of a law apprentice is around £15,000, but this can vary depending on the location and the level of study the apprentice is undertaking. It will ultimately be decided by the employer, though many law firms do offer competitive salaries. At the very least, apprentices will receive the national minimum wage, currently £4.81 an hour, but this may increase, depending on age, after the first year of an apprenticeship.

How do I apply for a law apprenticeship?

Opportunities are created by employers, so all law apprenticeship vacancies will be advertised by firms looking to recruit an apprentice. Most vacancies will be advertised by the firm directly, so regularly checking the websites of individual firms can be a good place to start. Also, many of these vacancies will be listed on the National Apprenticeships Service website.

Law apprenticeships can by highly competitive because of the benefits they provide, so it is important to ensure your application is the best it can be. Take time to research the firm you are applying to and tailor your application to suit their needs. If your application is successful, then you may have to complete further assessments and attend an interview before you will be offered the position.

You can find out more about our law apprenticeships, and if it might be the right path for you, on our apprenticeship hub.