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Weightmans launches new solicitor apprenticeships

Weightmans’ Apprenticeship Academy will offer opportunity to become a solicitor without a traditional graduate degree. Applications open November…

National law firm Weightmans has today launched a pioneering new Apprenticeship Academy offering school leavers an alternative route for qualifying into law. The 6-year solicitor degree apprenticeship programme will equip students with an impressive variety of skills and experience that they will need to thrive in the law firm of the future, all without accruing any university fees. Weightmans are also offering a graduate solicitor apprenticeship which will offer university graduates a shorter programme, which will take 30 months to complete and qualify as a solicitor.

The Weightmans Apprenticeship Academy is the result of extensive research and collaboration with global leader in education BPP and is a newly structured legal programme, combining legal expertise, key commercial skills as well as developing skills in technology and innovation.

Whilst solicitor degree apprentices will follow the new solicitor apprenticeship qualification, the programme will be enhanced to provide additional learning and a unique experience with a view to creating the professional of the future.

As well as working across legal departments, the solicitor degree apprentices will receive placement opportunities in business service areas such as finance, HR and marketing – as well as time in the firm’s exciting innovation department. The full programme takes six years, with the first successful applicants scheduled to qualify in 2027 – without ever having needed to go to a traditional university.

The first wave of new 6-year apprentices will join the firm in 2021 whilst the first graduates will arrive in 2022. Applications for the solicitor apprenticeship open on 23 November 2020 and will close on 8 January 2021. Applications for the graduate solicitor apprenticeship programme will open on 5 November 2020 and close 18 March 2021.

Weightmans was the first law firm in the country to offer legal services apprenticeships when they became available in 2013.

Weightmans HR Director Helen Taylor said:

“We believe our people are integral to the future success of the firm, and we take the investment into their skills and development incredibly seriously. Our flagship apprenticeship programme has been a game-changer for the industry and we are delighted to launch our new apprenticeship programmes which will truly help to shape the legal professional of the future. We hope our new Solicitor Degree Apprenticeship will appeal to those who are looking to gain a law degree alongside substantial employment experience, as an alternate pathway to a career in law whilst earning competitive salary.

“Technology is already revolutionising the legal profession, and the law firm of the future will look very different – which is why it’s crucial that the approach we take to training future professionals is not just adequate, but revolutionary.

“The future legal professional will need to be commercial as well as legally astute in order to deliver real business benefits. They will be more commercial their approach, understand the wider business needs and embrace and embed technology into their daily work. This is bigger than learning about how tech works; this is understanding how it can be used to improve the client experience, to boost efficiency and to generate better results.

“This is a real alternative route to the legal profession - the workforce of the present expects flexibility and this expectation is only going to continue. The legal professional of the future will not need to take the conventional route into law, and we are delighted to be one of the first firms to help make this a reality for many.”

 

Liz Ritter, Head of Business Development at BPP said:

“We share the same values and ethos around training lawyers of the future and providing legal education that benefits the long-term growth of professionals practising at Weightmans. As an expert provider, BPP has wealth of experience in the apprenticeship market that offers positive outcomes for our firms and trainees. We look forward to working closely with another major law firm who trust us to develop their trainees and future professionals.

“BPP’s innovative teaching strategy, applied across all of our new programmes, is founded on a truly integrated approach to training, combining development of legal knowledge, skill and behaviours. This approach will enable Weightmans new apprentices to understand and apply legal principles and engage in professional tasks in the context of relevant and realistic case studies, whilst also drawing on the practical experience they are developing in the workplace.

“We are excited that Weightmans share our clear and compelling vision to develop lawyers with the breadth of capabilities, knowledge, skills and behaviours that will prepare them for long and successful careers in a rapidly changing legal sector”.

Those interested in applying should visit https://www.weightmans.com/careers/apprenticeships/

Weightmans’ Apprenticeship Academy will offer opportunity to become a solicitor without a traditional graduate degree

Applications open this month

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