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) announced that the Legal Practice Course (LPC) will be replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE). This new pathway was launched from September 2021 as the LPC is being phased out. As a firm, we closely followed updates and consultations of the legal education reforms and we 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 onwards, 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?Apply now
Our application process consists of 4 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 open question 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. You must complete this initial application by Thursday 9 March 2023 at 12noon. We will not be able to accept applications after this date.
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 — Virtual interview
If you are successful at the HIPO-I assessment, you will be invited to attend a virtual interview with a member of HR and a Partner or Principal Associate from the Firm. The interview will be conducted via Zoom and will include a presentation. Virtual interviews will take place w/c Monday 5 June 2023, or for those also attending the summer vacation scheme w/c Monday 12 June 2023. Alternative dates will not be available.
Stage 4 — Assessment Centre
If you are successful at the virtual interview stage, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. This will consist of two parts: 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. Assessment centres will be held w/c Monday 26 June 2023 in Liverpool and Birmingham. Alternative dates will not be available.
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 you 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. We will be running our programme the w/c 12 June 2023 in the below offices:
Please be aware there are no other dates available.
Meet us and find out more
During Autumn we will be attending events and hosting open evenings in our own offices. Please see further details below:
Law fairs & careers fairs
Wednesday 5 October — BPP University Fair (online)
Tuesday 11 October — Legal Cheek Careers Fair (online)
Tuesday 18 October — University of Liverpool
Tuesday 18 October — University of Leicester
Tuesday 18 October — University of Newcastle
Wednesday 19 October — Manchester Metropolitan University
Thursday 20 October — Edge Hill University
Monday 24 October — University of Nottingham
Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 October — De Montford University
Wednesday 9 November — University of Birmingham
Wednesday 16 November — University of Birmingham (online)
Wednesday 16 November — Liverpool John Moores University
To attend, please contact the university or organisation directly
Tuesday 8 November 2022 — Weightmans Birmingham office (FULLY BOOKED)
Thursday 17 November 2022 — Weightmans Newcastle office (FULLY BOOKED)
Tuesday 22 November 2022 — Weightmans Leeds office (FULLY BOOKED)
Wednesday 1 February 2023 — Weightmans Liverpool office (FULLY BOOKED)
Thursday 2 February 2023 — Weightmans Manchester office (FULLY BOOKED)
We are also going to be hosting two online open evenings on Wednesday 1 February and Thursday 2 February (5.30-7.00). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to register.
Places at our open evenings are allocated on a first come, first served basis, and priority will be given to those who are eligible to apply for our roles now i.e. second year of a law degree onwards or final year of a non-law degree onwards. Please email email@example.com providing the following information:
- Contact number
- Current stage of education (e.g. second year of law degree or final year of history degree)
- The role which you are interested in
- The office and date you would like to attend
Arrange a chat to find out more
If you have any further questions or queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team will arrange to give you a call.