Eversheds ups trainee intake by a quarter and offers ‘high calibre’ paralegals pathway to solicitor qualification

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By Thomas Connelly on

40 ↗️ 50

The London office of Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has increased the number of trainee solicitors it takes on each year by a quarter and created a new ‘SQE Academy’ which enables its paralegals to qualify as solicitors.

The outfit confirmed its TC offering has jumped from 40 to 50, a sizeable boost of 25%. The Legal Cheek 2022 Firms Most List shows the firm now recruits — give or take — the same number of trainees as Hogan Lovells and White & Case.

The firm has also unveiled a new pathway to qualification as a solicitor for its “high calibre” paralegals.

The two-year route, dubbed the ‘SQE Academy’, operates alongside the firm’s existing training contract and apprenticeship programmes and sees participants work towards sitting the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) while acquiring the necessary qualifying work experience. Participants will receive paid time off each week for their studies at The University of Law.

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In order to be considered for one of the ten spots up for grabs each year, candidates will need to be a paralegal in one of the firm’s UK offices and hold a degree or equivalent qualification in any discipline.

Lorraine Kilborn, chief people officer, Eversheds Sutherland, said: “Innovation is at the core of the firm’s DNA and providing opportunity to future talent, often from diverse, socio-economic backgrounds, is a key focus of our people strategy. I am delighted to launch our SQE Academy which will provide a third route to qualification at the firm for our initial group of ten talented and ambitious paralegals.”

She added:

“Our SQE Academy will enable our candidates to move their careers through training to qualification as lawyers over the next two years. By opening up a new route to a legal career for candidates who will come through from more diverse backgrounds, we are reflecting the communities we operate in and meeting the demands of our clients who look to our firm to invest in and shape the future of legal services.”

A number of firms have nudged their TC numbers by a quarter in recent months. Walker Morris bumped its trainee intake from 16 to 20, an uplift of 25%, while CMS became the second highest rookie recruiter in the UK when earlier this summer it boosted its offering from 79 to 95 — again a rise of 25%.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

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