DLA Piper launches solicitor apprenticeship for school-leavers

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Six-year programme starts in September from firm’s Manchester office

DLA Piper has launched a six-year apprenticeship programme that leads to qualification as a solicitor.

The global firm is recruiting apprentices to join its new programme which commences in September 2021 from the Manchester office.

The apprenticeship offers school-leavers the opportunity to earn whilst working and studying towards a law degree and the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). DLA Piper is yet to publicly reveal details of its SQE training partner.

The apprenticeship will comprise four days of on the job work experience with one day allocated to study each week. Rookies will rotate for six and 12 months at a time through DLA’s practice groups and sectors, and as they progress, there will be client and international secondment opportunities, according to the firm. Upon completion, they will qualify as solicitors with a level 7 degree apprenticeship.

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It’s worth noting the solicitor apprenticeship runs parallel to DLA’s existing training contract scheme, which is aimed at graduates.

A number of law firms have established solicitor apprenticeships for school-leavers, including Addleshaw Goddard, Charles Russell Speechlys and Eversheds Sutherland, whilst others have tweaked their graduate apprenticeship schemes to accommodate the new SQE.

The SQE, a two-part national assessment to be set and examined centrally, comes into force on 1 September 2021.

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Hmmm will they provide a time machine for those who wanted to qualify, but were considered too old or couldnt afford the uni/course fees?
Qe know a lot of Sols have the work done by Paralegals on £10 an hour, then charge it out at £200-300 an hour to the client. Using this Apprentice scheme, its a bonus for them at £4.30 an hour. Its all about the money honey.



Disagree. We have a number of legal apprentices and the firm invests a lot in them and their development. The firm pays Ulaw/BPP for formal training (side note: massive waste of money). From what I have seen in most cases the time of the apprentice is written off anyway so there isnt much recouped from them. I reckon the main goals of using the scheme are 1) investing in local people; 2) being able to blow your own trumpet in the media; and 3) hoping that in the long term the apprentices will qualify with the firm and deliver more value as a NQ given how long they have been with the firm.



6 years in Manchester sounds like a prison sentence


Dan Souff

Sounds worse than that.



The apprentices at my firm are significantly more useful and less entitled than most of the trainees.



How to apply for the apprenticeship please let me know


T J Tyne

What are legal firms doing for older people who are looking to change or have been forced to change career in later life? Will they offer a training contract to someone in their 40s or 50s?



Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers as there is no age limit. It could just be that will be the majority but worth contacting those recruiting organisations to see if they’re taking on non school leavers, many do.


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