Skip to main content

Solicitor degree apprenticeship Earn a law degree and qualify as a solicitor with no student debt

Our solicitor degree apprenticeship is an alternative to university, and those student loans and fees! The programme is for aspiring solicitors with a passion for law who have completed, or are in the process of completing, their A-levels.

Are you a good fit?

We are looking for a specific type of individual who will fit in well with our ethos and culture. The Weightmans solicitor apprenticeship will be an intense path, so we are looking for those who are passionate about law and committed to a career as a solicitor. You will need to show that you are a resilient individual, with the drive and determination to succeed for our clients.

You will need to have a strong academic background to undergo the learning aspect of the programme. Using a contextual recruitment system named Rare, we can identify high performing candidates by putting grades into context, acknowledging candidate academics and social background.

Whilst we are looking for candidates who have obtained or are predicted 128 UCAS points (or equivalent), if you have narrowly missed out on these grades, we would still encourage you to apply. We will judge each application on its own merits and so this grade criteria may be adjusted based on personal circumstances. Please contact our early careers team via email at apprenticeships@weightmans.com for further information.

What is included in the Weightmans solicitor degree apprenticeship?

As you progress with your apprenticeship you will build a portfolio of evidence of the tasks completed in your role and the experience gained whilst working in legal teams within the business. You will be learning on the job with a robust support network including a Weightmans supervisor and a dedicated buddy. You will have the opportunity to gain experience in a range of departments covering different areas of law during the six-year programme, with the potential for the programme to be tailored to your requirements and career interests.

You will complete your part-time study with BPP University Law School and upon successful completion, you will be a qualified solicitor with an LLB degree in Law and Legal Practice. View the full BPP course outline. One day each week will be dedicated to your learning and studies to ensure that you can maintain a good work/life balance.

We want our future lawyers to be both technically excellent and to have the skills necessary to understand our clients' businesses and our own. Therefore, you will also complete our bespoke learning and development programme throughout the six years, which has been designed to develop your core professional and business skills. You will cover areas including digital literacy, marketing, change management, law as a business and project management, in a varied programme which will help to prepare you for your career as a solicitor and enable you to provide the best service to our clients.

Programme structure

  • Stage 1 – years 1 and 2

    • Apprenticeship study includes: English legal system, contract law, tort or land law, client care, legal research and public law.
    • Your day to day job will be: two placements in two different legal teams where you will learn about our business practices and handle legal tasks.
    • We will also train you in: how a law firm works, personal effectiveness, finance, Microsoft Office and time management.
  • Stage 2 – years 3 and 4

    • Apprenticeship study includes: criminal law, tort or land law, company law, trusts law, professional conduct, advocacy and negotiation.
    • Your day to day job will be: two further legal placements and the opportunity to work within a business services team such as finance, IT or marketing.
    • We will also train you in: understanding our clients, project management, pricing, presentation skills and negotiation.
  • Stage 3 – years 5 and 6

    • Apprenticeship study includes: property law & practice, dispute resolution, wills & administration of estates, criminal law & practice. You will complete your Solicitor Qualifying Exams in year 6.
    • Your day to day job will be: completing more complex work in two final placements and make a decision of where you would like to qualify as a solicitor.
    • We will also train you in: business development, problem solving, decision making, horizon scanning and design thinking.

Why choose Weightmans?

Here at Weightmans, people are an integral part of our culture and business, and your success is our success. We have great flexible working practices for ensuring a mindful and considerate working culture and as such we are signatories of the Mindful Business Charter.

In many of our offices, we have a unique and open office space, supported by our agile working approach for a great work-life balance. With a focus on learning and development of our people, we are proud to have consistently high trainee solicitor retention rates.

We want our apprentices to qualify as solicitors who possess a range of transferable business skills, which enable them to not only understand our business but also be sound advisors to our clients.

Our bespoke learning and development programme has been designed to enhance these skills and alongside this, during the six years, you will have the opportunity to gain experience in our non-legal teams, this could be anything from finance to our innovation team. We believe this will help you to become a more well-rounded legal professional by providing a unique opportunity to understand how all aspects of a law firm work.

“Weightmans is fully committed to investing in its people through their Apprenticeship Academy. As the firm’s first ever Legal Apprentice, I was nervous about taking this new route rather than the traditional university route but with the second to none commitment, support and quality training I received, I know that I made the right decision to opt for a legal apprenticeship.”
Jordan Coulton Legal Executive at Weightmans and England’s first higher legal apprentice

As much as we work hard, we play hard too! Having an appropriate work/life balance is something we value for all our people. Our social calendar is always full, from theatre visits and quizzes to office parties. Each of our offices has an active social committee who are always looking for new members to get involved. We encourage our apprentices to keep in touch as a national cohort too, with national training days and events.

We pride ourselves in our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) work and support a number of deserving charities, both nationally and local to our offices, including Zoe’s Place, Francis House, Simon on the Streets and many more. As part of our commitment, all staff receive two days of paid CSR leave each year, and each office has a local committee who are always looking for new members, and this may be something you would like to be a part of once you join us.

We offer an excellent salary and benefits. For year one as a solicitor apprentice, you would receive a salary of £17,000 (£21,000 London), which will increase annually, and reach £27,000 (£34,000 London) in your final year as an apprentice.

As a Weightmans employee, you will also be entitled to our excellent staff benefits which include:

  • 28 days' holiday
  • Healthcare cover
  • Pension plan
  • Travel loan scheme
  • Employee care scheme
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Dental care scheme

Meet us to find out more

If you have any questions, please get in touch by email to apprenticeships@weightmans.com. We are also attending a number of events this year if you would like to come along and find out more about the programme.

Open evenings

We are holding three virtual open events this autumn. These hour-long sessions are aimed at potential applicants who are hoping to join the programme in September 2022, and they will provide you with an introduction to the firm, the programme and the opportunity to hear from some of our current apprentices.

If you wish to reserve a place, please email apprenticeships@weightmans.com with your name and preferred date from the list below.

  • Thursday 4 November 17.00 – 18.00 (now fully booked)
  • Tuesday 9 November 15.30 – 16.30 (now fully booked)
  • Monday 15 November 17.30 – 18.30 (now fully booked)

Thank you for your interest in Weightmans’ open evenings. We would like to arrange a phone call with you to discuss the programme in the event that you were unable to book on to a session due to the volume of interest. Please contact apprenticeships@weightmans.com if you wish to do so.

National apprenticeship show

We will be attending the national apprenticeship show on the dates provided below. You can register to attend directly with the National Apprenticeship Service.

  • 17 November 2021 (virtual show)
  • 22 & 23 March 2022 BEC Arena Manchester (in-person show)

How to apply

Applications for our September 2022 intake are now open. You can apply using the link below, and applications will close on 9 December 2021 at 5pm.

Apply now

What is the application process?

The application process has three stages:

  • Firstly, you will complete an online application form. This requires you to provide us with some personal information including your education. It also includes one open question which is up to 300 words. We recommend that you put some thought into the open question, you are able to save your application and go back in another time to edit the question before submitting. The first stage of this process closes on 9 December 2021 at 5pm, any applications submitted after this time and date will not be considered.
  • If your application meets our requirements you will then be invited to the second stage of the process which is an interactive online assessment. The assessment will take around an hour to complete and we recommend that you complete the practice questions provided beforehand.
  • If you progress to the third stage of the process, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre the week commencing 14 February 2022. This is our opportunity to meet you face to face and for you to meet us. The session will be half a day and we will arrange a coaching call beforehand with one of our early careers team. During this call, we will talk you through what to expect on the day and answer any questions you have.

Work experience programme

Are you in Year 12 or equivalent at present? If so, we are excited to announce the launch of our brand new work experience programme. We invite current year 12 students (or equivalent) to apply. Our aim is to provide students with an insight into our law firm, the legal career pathways available and to introduce you to members of the firm to discover what they do here at Weightmans and how a law firm works.

Share on Twitter