National law firm Weightmans has welcomed its first cohort of apprentice solicitors to its Apprenticeship Academy, which allows school leavers to qualify as a solicitor and gain a law degree while working.
The firm has also opened for applications for its 2022 and 2023 schemes.
The 13 new starters will gain experience working across each of the firm’s legal departments, and will also benefit from placement opportunities in key service areas such as finance, HR and marketing, and Weightmans’ innovation department.
Overall, the programme will last for six years, and the apprentices will be fully qualified by 2027, obtaining an LLB in Law and Legal Practice, as well as completing their Solicitor Qualifying Exams (SQE).
Developed in partnership with BPP University Law School, the Academy offers school leavers the opportunity to combine legal expertise with developing commercial, digital and innovation skills.
As well as the full solicitor degree apprenticeship, new graduates who are yet to complete their LPC can progress straight to Weightmans’ graduate solicitor apprenticeship, or can continue along the traditional LPC and training contract route.
Denise Wright, Graduate Development Adviser at Weightmans, said: “The future of our profession requires lawyers that can bring a combination of commercial acumen, outstanding legal knowledge and innovative thinking to the table.
“For us, developing alternative pathways to qualification has always been about giving budding solicitors the choice to learn in the way that suits them best, so they qualify with the skills they need to provide the highest quality client experience, embrace emerging legal technologies, and deliver the best results.”
Helen Taylor, HR Director at Weightmans, added: “We know that people sit at the heart of the firm’s future success. Our Apprenticeship Academy is a leading example of Weightmans’ commitment to investing in the next generation of legal talent, and to helping them develop the skills they need to thrive in the law firm of the future.”