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Global firm unveils ‘articled apprenticeship’ with direct route to solicitor qualification

Mayer Brown joins with the University of Law to launch six year scheme for school leavers at its London office

1 June 2015

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Global law firm Mayer Brown, working in partnership with the University of Law (ULaw), has announced the launch of a legal apprenticeship programme that will lead successful applicants to qualify as solicitors.

Mayer Brown is the first City firm to offer the new 'articled apprenticeship' programme which provides an alternative route to qualification. The programme includes a degree, postgraduate qualification, and recognised training for those who do not want to commit to full-time study.

The new apprenticeship route takes advantage of changes to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulations which allow wannabe solicitors to undertake an 'on-the-job' period of recognised training while studying for a qualifying law degree or legal practice course (LPC).

Commenting on the scheme, Annette Sheridan, global chief HR officer at Mayer Brown, said: 'We have been working hard to introduce a programme that will nurture the talent of people who feel the traditional route to being a solicitor isn't a viable option for them.'

The firm is currently recruiting for an apprentice to join the programme in September 2015.

The six-year scheme, which consists of a four-year part-time LLB, followed by the LPC and the professional skills course (PSC) to be completed in two years, combines work and study.

In year three of the programme work will start to count towards the training contract as 'a period of recognised training', which will continue until the PSC is completed.

Candidates on the programme will be employed by Mayer Brown throughout the apprenticeship, while studying part-time at ULaw. They will spend their first 12 to 18 months in the firm's business services departments to gain a broad understanding of how Mayer Brown operates before gaining experience within a number of practice areas.

John Latham, CEO and president, ULaw, added: 'This new six-year route to qualification as a solicitor gives employers a ground-breaking way to attract and nurture talent. It is in all our interests for sustaining a dynamic legal services market to recruit the most able people from all walks of life. It is great to have such a well-respected international firm to be leading on this initiative.'

The programme is expected to attract candidates from a range of backgrounds wanting to kick start their legal career straight after leaving school or who wish to make a career change.


John van der Luit-Drummond is deputy editor for Solicitors Journal | @JvdLD

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