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Graduate solicitor apprenticeship Your fast-track route to qualifying as a solicitor

Our graduate solicitor apprenticeship is for those who have completed their law degree, or those who have completed a non-law degree and the GDL.

What is the Weightmans graduate solicitor apprenticeship?

You can apply for a Weightmans graduate solicitor apprenticeship from the penultimate year of your law degree, or final year of your non-law degree (if you plan to complete a Graduate Diploma in Law, or equivalent).

If you have already commenced study towards, or completed, your legal practice course (LPC) please see our training contract pathway which follows the same application process.

Our graduate solicitor apprenticeship will support you through the new pathway to qualification by completion of the Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE1 and SQE2). This means that you can join us straight from your degree or GDL and start gaining on the job experience, and earning a salary, earlier.

The apprenticeship is a 32-month programme which provides you with the best learning and development opportunities in order for you to qualify as a solicitor. One day each week is dedicated to off-the-job study with the four remaining days gaining your required work-based experience. You will complete five work placements across different areas of the business, learning from leading experts in the legal field.

Why have we changed to follow the SQE route?

Following a lengthy period of research, development and consultation, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced that the Legal Practice Course (LPC) will be replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE). This will be launched from September 2021 as the LPC will be phased out. As a firm, we have closely followed updates and consultations of the legal education reforms and we have spent a great deal of time planning our new SQE-ready programmes. We are excited to continue recruitment of our new graduate pathway, which we believe brings many advantages. Trainees can join the firm straight from university, qualify as a solicitor earlier and learn the academic content of the SQE1 whilst working in a legal role, applying it to practice from day one.

Is this for you?

We are looking for a specific type of individual who will fit in well with our ethos and culture. 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 show that you have a strong academic background. You will be required to have obtained your LLB Law degree or Graduate Diploma in Law before the position commences.

What is included in the Weightmans graduate solicitor apprenticeship?

You will be learning on the job with a robust support network as you complete five work placements in teams across the business. Alongside BPP University Law School, we will help you achieve to the best of your ability and upon successful completion, you will be a qualified solicitor. View a course outline. One day each week will be dedicated to off the job learning to ensure that you can maintain a good work/life balance whilst completing your solicitor qualifying exams (SQE1 and SQE2), with all fees paid by the firm.

Why choose us and what we will do for you

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

In many of our offices, we have a unique and open office space accompanied by agile working 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.

As much as we work hard, we like to play hard too! Having an appropriate work/life balance is something we value for all of 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 will encourage our graduates to keep in touch as a national cohort with training and annual 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 graduate solicitor apprentice you would receive a salary of £25,000 (£32,000 London), which will increase after 12 months to £27,000 (£34,000 London). As a Weightmans employee, you will also be entitled to our excellent staff benefits including:

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

What is the application process?

Applications for positions commencing September 2023 have now closed. We will be reopening the process in the Autumn for positions commencing September 2024 but please feel free to register your interest in this programme using the form at the bottom of the page.

Our application process consists of 3 stages:

Stage 1 — Written application

At this stage, we will look at your predicted/obtained degree score and your answer to an open question. This question changes each year and is designed to check your understanding of how a law firm, and Weightmans works. We will also assess structure, depth, punctuation and grammar. The quality of your answer will determine if you progress to the next stage, therefore we suggest you spend some time on this and proofread before submitting it. We will review all written submissions individually, along with your degree score, in a blind marking process.

Stage 2 — HIPO-I interactive online assessment

If you are successful at the written application stage, you will then be invited to complete an online assessment called the HIPO-I. This assessment has been designed to test verbal and numerical reasoning along with some situational judgement questions to assess if our values align, you will then be asked to complete a video interview question.

Stage 3 — Assessment centre

If you are successful at the HIPO-I stage, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. This will consist of three parts: a competency-based interview and presentation, a group exercise and a written exercise. Before you attend you will be given the opportunity to attend an online insight session which will be designed to prepare you for assessment, walk you through the day and answer any questions you may have. You will also be provided with a written brief.

Our process is designed in order for us to identify that we are the right fit for each other; for us as a firm and for you in your choice of employer. We welcome you to contact us if you have any queries regarding this process.

Summer vacation scheme

When applying for a trainee solicitor role you may also choose to be considered for a place on our summer vacation scheme. This week-long paid placement at one of our offices has been designed for those who are applying for a trainee solicitor position with the firm to gain some first-hand experience at Weightmans.

You can apply by selecting the scheme you wish to attend on the trainee solicitor application form. The dates and locations are listed below:

Meet us and find out more

During Autumn we will be attending a number of events at universities around the country. Please check back here in September for a list of events.

Arrange a chat to find out more

If you have any further questions or queries, please email earlycareers@weightmans.com and one of our team will arrange to give you a call.