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Clifford Chance launches first legal project management apprenticeship

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Scheme doesn’t lead to qualification as a solicitor

Magic circle player Clifford Chance has launched what is understood to be the first apprenticeship scheme dedicated to training future legal project managers.

The scheme, unveiled today, sees the Canary Wharf giant team up with apprenticeships specialists WhiteHat to train school-leavers in a range of project management skills and tools. The 18-month training contract does not lead to qualification as a solicitor but may convert to a permanent position within the firm.

The apprenticeship will “tap a new source of recruits”, the firm says, at a time when outfits face a “tight market” for legal project management talent. Clifford Chance confirmed it’s already recruited six students with level 3 BTEC/NVQ or equivalent (e.g. A-levels) who will join it’s London office in June 2019. Clifford Chance confirmed apprentices will start on a salary of £24,000.

Vocational training aside, each apprentice will be assigned a “personal coach” to help guide them through the training process, as well as opportunities to network with the firm’s lawyers and support staff through social events, sports teams, and insight/career days.

Kerstin Morgan, best delivery programme director at Clifford Chance, said:

“With demand for legal project management on the increase, this is an exciting opportunity to recruit legal project executives so we can deliver world class project management on more of our clients’ most important work.”

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Euan Blair, co-founder and CEO of WhiteHat, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Clifford Chance on such a pioneering scheme and can’t wait to see the programme and our apprentices develop over the next 18 months.”

Blair, who spoke at last year’s Future of Legal Education and Training Conference, added:

“Providing opportunities at some of the world’s best firms and in areas like the legal sector is key to changing perceptions and demonstrating that apprenticeships are a high quality alternative to the traditional university route.”

The isn’t the first time a big City player has offered an alternative to the traditional training contract.

Earlier this year, Ashurst launched a programme offering graduates the opportunity to pursue careers in new so-called ‘new law’ roles including legal operations, legal project management, legal technology and legal process improvement.

Elsewhere, Allen & Overy launched a tech-focused graduate scheme which leads to a qualification in project management, while Norton Rose Fulbright unveiled a two-year grad programme covering everything from business solutions to resource management.

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18 Comments

Anonymous

I trust it includes a module on “removal of hazardous waste from aquatic environments”.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

A&O RAISES NQ PAY TO £100,000

(3)(1)

Anon

Salary + bonus is £100k, the same as the other MC now (except Linklaters).

(0)(0)

Anonymous

CC has released several new tech related projects recently – definitely one of the more forward thinking firms. Exciting times and one to watch.

(4)(5)

Anonymous

That or the MC firms are finally being honest and creating career mobility options for juniors to leave the law at circa 5 pqe (at least for the schemes integrated with training contracts). By that time the veil has been lifted to show the pitfalls of private practice, or at the very least, the reality that less than 2% of their qualification cohort will ever be made up to partner at the MC firm they trained at.

(0)(0)

Brian Griffin

I have a tip on how to secure a place on this scheme:

Wish it, Want it, Do it.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Not sure the headline that it does not lead to qualification as a solicitor is true anymore. The scheme gives you the two years work experience you need to qualify under the Super Exam. By the time you have finished and the exam comes in during 2021, you do the exam and you qualify at the end of the two years without having to shell out for the LPC. Think we’ll be seeing more of this. Firms like having someone with them for two years as it’s a long job interview and they make a profit from them.

(3)(4)

Anonymous

Have you read the article??? This is a school leavers apprenticeship scheme to train legal project managers (as there’s a skill shortage in this area), which could lead to a permanent position with the firm in business services. This is NOT a legal training role at all and has no relevance to training contracts for lawyers. You are thinking of Clifford Chance’s tech related legal TC – IGNITE.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Training contracts are being abolished. No need to do a degree or the LPC. You are quite right that it not a training contract from. Have you been living under a rock? From 2021 everyone will qualify by doing the two part exam and having 2 years of work experience. The experience can be with anyone, firm, law center etc. Not saying this is good thing, but from 2021 anybody who passes the exam will be a qualified solicitor even without a degree, LPC or completing a training contract.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

You are still not understanding that this is not a legal role just because it has ‘legal’ in the title. A school leaver who has only completed A levels and completes this apprenticeship will be a project manager – this scheme has absolutely nothing to do with lawyers, it’s a business services apprenticeship at a law firm.

(3)(0)

Anon

Sorry but you’re wrong. You have to gain 2 years’ experience in a legal role, gaining law related experience. This wouldn’t qualify under the SQE requirements as they wouldn’t be dealing with legal work (just as someone with 2 years’ experience in HR, finance, or marketing wouldn’t qualify).

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Just another way for partners to try and sleep with graduates. Sick.

(6)(4)

Anonymous

Law firms should have specific litigation managers with expertise in bundling and disclosure software/platforms. This is an excellent idea.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Clifford Chance? Wow they are tight for money, this is cheap labour and a mix of Admin/secretary work, people will be redundant due to this

(4)(3)

Anon

You don’t get it do you? This is a school leavers apprenticeship scheme training people to become high quality legal project managers, an area which there is a skill shortage. Definitely no redundancies.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Bifford ‘Bifocal Big Ford’ Bants?

The law firm that can’t compete with the Americans due to the botched Roger and Wells merger? Oh that firm. #Bants

(1)(1)

Anonymous

£24,000 .. Really? CC can do better than that

(0)(2)

Anon

£24,000 in an apprenticeship is a cracking wage for someone straight out of school?! Average is only £170 per week.

(3)(0)

Comments are closed.

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