18-year-old Northern Irish school-leaver bags City law apprentice glamour gig that pays trainee money

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By Thomas Connelly on

Timmy Kennedy’s earnings at Mayer Brown will reach £47,000 in final year of scheme


An 18-year-old school-leaver has landed a place on Mayer Brown’s highly sought after earn-while-you-learn “articled apprenticeship”.

Timmy Kennedy, 18, from Lurgan in Northern Ireland, has fought off stiff competition to become the third student to undertake the six-year programme that will eventually see him qualify as a solicitor.

The unique scheme, which is now entering its second year, will see Kennedy (pictured above) — who recently achieved A-levels in history, English literature and music at Lurgan College — complete a four-year part-time LLB. The young aspiring lawyer will then go on to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Professional Skills Course (PSC) in his final two years.

Initially pocketing £18,000, Kennedy will see his salary rise over the six-year course, eventually earning the same as a second year trainee. According to Legal Cheek’s Most List, this currently stands at a very respectable £47,000.

Fresh from college, Kennedy will also gain vital on-the-job experience. In his first year he will complete six month stints at two Mayer Brown departments: the information department and the business intake department. He will then spend the next three years working across a number of the City outfit’s other legal departments. As he’ll be completing paralegal-level work, this will count towards his training contract or period of recognised training.

To be eligible for the scheme — which is operated in conjunction with the University of Law — students must have obtained at least AAB grades at A-level. According to Mayer Brown, the one-of-a-kind programme is designed to provide an alternative route to qualification for those who are “put off by the cost of full-time study”.

Kennedy will be joining fellow Mayer Brown apprentices Rosie Ahmadi and David Elikwu on the programme. Ahmadi, 21, who went to Southgate Secondary School in Hertfordshire, joined the scheme last September, having previously worked in the firm’s business services department.

Meanwhile, Elikwu, 22, started his LLB at City University in 2012, but left to intern at Google as part of its Top Black Talent programme. Having gained further experience at a firm in Shanghai, he started the apprenticeship at the same time as Ahmadi.

Mayer Brown’s global chief HR officer, Annette Sheridan, commenting on scheme, said:

The legal apprenticeship programme has given us an opportunity to invest in the long term future of a wider talent pool and provide relevant on-the-job training that will serve our apprentices throughout their legal careers. I am delighted to welcome another apprentice to the firm and I look forward to following his progress over the coming years.

Applications for Mayer Brown’s next legal apprenticeship intake open in January 2017.

In other apprenticeship news, international law firm Kennedys has launched a similar trailblazing solicitor scheme.

The firm has revealed it will provide six school leavers with the opportunity to qualify as a solicitor within the firm during a six-year-long apprenticeship.

Students — who will start on a salary of £18,500 in London and £15,750 in the regions — must have at least eight GCSEs and three A-levels all at A* to B to be eligible for the programme. Apprentices will be based at Kennedys’ London, Chelmsford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield offices.

Operated in partnership with BPP Law School, apprentices will complete an LLB in legal practice while gaining hands-on experience at Kennedys. The firm has also confirmed it will offer a further 16 two-year-long paralegal apprenticeships.

Students who opt for this route will receive a certificate of higher education in legal services. They will then have the option to go on and complete the solicitor apprenticeship, skipping year one of the programme.