NRF to offer graduate solicitor apprenticeships in Newcastle

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By Thomas Connelly on

Open to existing and future paralegals

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has launched a graduate solicitor apprenticeship programme in its Newcastle hub.

NRF said the new opportunity will be open to its existing and future paralegals from September 2021, and comes just months after it launched a solicitor apprenticeship programme for school leavers in London and route to qualification as a paralegal in Newcastle.

A graduate solicitor apprenticeship should not be confused with the more common solicitor apprenticeship. The former is aimed at graduates who juggle qualifying work experience with vocational training over a two year period, while the latter is geared towards school leavers, requires participants to complete a law degree prior to their vocational training, and runs for six years. Both eventually lead to qualification as a solicitor.

NRF has selected BPP Law School for the provision of training and apprentices will receive a salary “which is highly competitive for the region”, the firm said.

Separately, NRF confirmed it is hiring ten new associate solicitors into its corporate, banking, dispute resolution and real estate practices. These roles will be based in Newcastle and will be fully integrated with the wider practice groups.

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Kiran Radhakrishnan, commercial director and head of NRF’s Newcastle hub, commented:

“Our Newcastle office has gone from strength to strength over the past five years and our people have worked on some of the firm’s most complex cross-border mandates, delivering innovative and more efficient solutions for our clients. The addition of these associate roles in Newcastle, along with a new route to qualification for paralegals, is the next step in our evolution. Our ambition is to recruit and retain the most talented lawyers and future lawyers in the North East region.”

A host of major law firms have now embraced the TC alternative, with recently released stats showing places were up 40% between 2019 and 2020.

They’re even catching the eye of the magic circle. Earlier this summer Allen & Overy became the first elite member of the fivesome to offer the pathway to qualification as a solicitor in London, recruiting an initial cohort of six school leavers to start in September 2022.

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