Withers teams up with BPP to launch ‘earn while you learn’ solicitor apprenticeships

International law firm embraces government-backed Trailblazer scheme

Left to right: Halima Khanum, Evelyn Gowlett, Sabrina Saber and Alex Hirsh.

Withers has joined forces with BPP Law School to become the latest law firm to offer solicitor apprenticeships.

The international outfit has confirmed that four fresh-faced apprentices will start the BPP Level 7 Trailblazer course at its London office this month. Withers, renowned for its private client and wealth management expertise, revealed that two school leavers will join two existing young rookies who are already working at the firm.

The six-year government-backed course, quickly growing in popularity across the legal sector, eventually leads to qualification as a solicitor.

So what’s involved? Well, the foursome — starting on a salary of £20,000 — will split their time between Withers, undertaking paid paralegal/trainee-level work, and completing an LLB in Legal Practice at BPP. In return, the firm will receive a state subsidy to put towards training costs.

The successful candidates (pictured top) are Halima Khanum, Alex Hirsh, Evelyn Gowlett and Sabrina Saber. Khanum works in Withers’ corporate team and joined the firm in 2015, while Hirsh is part of the trust and succession disputes team and joined in 2014. Both Gowlett and Saber arrived earlier this month and are currently in real estate and private client.

Students wishing to apply must have obtained at least ABB at A-level and have 8 GCSEs (A* to C) including English language and maths.

Commenting on the launch, Withers’ training partner, Ceri Vokes, said:

We are delighted to commence the Trailblazer programme this September, after several years of preparation and work. The majority of other law firms offering access to the solicitor Trailblazer course are doing so in their offices outside London, and we are proud to be one of the few that are offering this in the city.

Other law firms to embrace the training contract alternative include Mayer Brown, Burges Salmon, Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds Sutherland, Dentons and Fletchers. Meanwhile Clyde & Co, Freshfields, Hogan Lovells and DWF operate a similar programme; however students are only able to qualify as paralegals.

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