Bird & Bird becomes latest City player to embrace solicitor apprenticeships

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By Emily Hinkley on

School leavers start on £25k

Bird & Bird has become the latest major law firm to introduce an apprenticeship programme that leads to qualification as a solicitor.

The new pathway will run exclusively in their London office and is aimed at year 13 students who have studied for A-Levels, or equivalent, but have chosen not to attend university.

The first apprentices embarking on the six-year programme will start in September 2023 on a salary of £25,000. Their first day will see them assigned a mentor and a buddy to guide them through the scheme.

It will look to recruit up to four apprentices this year.

They will spend one day a week studying towards an LLB degree at The University of Law, and the rest of the week working in the firm’s City HQ or on client secondment. Once thy’ve completed their law degree they will continue through the SQE exams. In the first four years, rookies will get to rotate around different practice areas to find where they fit best.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The new apprenticeship will run in parallel with the firm’s existing training contract programme, which is aimed at graduates and accommodates around 18 trainees each year. More details on these and the firm can be found on our 2023 Firms Most List.

Phil Sherrell, head of Bird & Bird’s London office, commented:

“We’re delighted to announce our new Apprenticeship Programme in London, starting this September. The programme will offer an alternative route into the legal world for future solicitors as well as our business services teams and is one of the many initiatives we are implementing to ensure that we enhance the chances of a diverse range of people being successful, which is a key business priority for us. I look forward to meeting our first cohort of apprentices this Autumn!”

Next year, in addition to these new solicitor apprenticeships, the firm is also hoping to increase the number of business services apprenticeships it offers.

Bird & Bird joins a growing number of other firms to embrace the TC alternative, including Taylor Wessing, DLA-Piper, Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy Charles Russell Speechlys, Eversheds Sutherland and Linklaters.

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