DWF launches apprenticeship that stops at paralegal level

Avatar photo

By Alex Aldridge on

Unlike some other law firm school-leaver schemes, course will not extend to qualification as a solicitor


National law behemoth DWF has unveiled a version of the government-backed Trailblazer apprenticeship scheme that stops short of qualification as a solicitor or chartered legal executive.

The firm’s new legal apprenticeship will be delivered in partnership with BPP University and commences this autumn with an intake of 16 school-leavers. It takes two years.

During that period, scheme participants will been given the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Higher Education — equivalent to the first year of a university degree — alongside the apprenticeship qualification.

But that will be that. Unlike other firms such as Eversheds and Mayer Brown, which aim to train their apprentices all the way up to solicitor level, DWF is stopping at the paralegal stage.

Accordingly, students with ambitions to become solicitors at the firm — which has offices in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool, alongside a centrepiece base in London’s Walkie Talkie building — would be advised to go to uni and look to secure a training contract.

DWF offers plenty of those; its 50 trainee places makes it one of the nation’s major solicitor training firms. Rookies who follow this route earn more — first year trainees at DWF pull in between £22,000-£36,000 a year — but of course carry often heavy debts from uni, something which apprentices avoid. However, apprentices earn much lower salaries, and can expect to start on not much more than the minimum wage.

DWF’s chief people office, Catherine Williams, said:

Young people are increasingly looking for alternative ways to start their careers without going down the traditional university path, and these rigorous apprenticeships will offer students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to break into the legal sector and gain valuable qualifications.