Taylor Wessing targets school leavers with new solicitor apprenticeship

By on

Launch marks start of National Apprenticeship Week

Taylor Wessing has launched a six-year apprenticeship programme that leads to qualification as a solicitor.

The scheme’s announcement marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week and is aimed at school leavers as an alternative route to becoming a solicitor.

The international law firm is recruiting two apprentices to join its London office when the programme commences in September 2023. Future spots in the firm’s Liverpool office are expected to be available from September 2024.

The apprentices will split their time between the classroom and the law firm, spending four days working in the office and one day hitting the books. They will obtain a law degree before going on to complete the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) at The University of Law. The work component of the apprenticeship counts towards the Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) required to become a solicitor.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Rookies will spend time in four different practice areas over their first four years, before completing four shorter seat rotations in years five and six. Upon completion, they will qualify as solicitors with a level 7 degree apprenticeship and can apply for a newly qualified role at the firm.

The new apprenticeship will run in parallel to Taylor Wessing’s existing training contract scheme, which is aimed at graduates and offers around 20 training contracts each year. More details on these and the firm can be found on the 2023 Firms Most List.

Siân Skelton, inclusion partner and UK executive board member, commented:

“This is a powerful initiative to create more opportunities in the legal sector for talented people of all backgrounds. We’ve run a successful training contract programme for many years, and we’re excited to replicate the success we’ve achieved here to support those who would like to enter the legal profession through an alternative route.”

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

For all the latest commercial awareness info, news and careers advice:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter



Pretty much every large firm that offers TCs will be rolling this out over the next year or so, surely it ceases to be newsworthy at a point?



The novelty isn’t newsworthy, but this acts as a way to spread the word that this firm is now also an option for those wishing to go down that route.



The dilution in quality in the profession continues. Sacrificed at the alter of virtue signalling.


Trainee Solicitor

Good – for far too long universities have had a monopoly as the only route into these professional careers.

I personally didn’t realise how redundant my LLB was for a legal career until I’d seen law firms accepting any non-law grads with a 2.1.

I suppose in a long since by-gone era, a 2.1 university degree was an indicator that someone was intelligent (or at least sufficiently competent to meet deadlines). But with the over-saturation of graduates, the utility of degrees as a sort of litmus test for intelligence is a redundant box-checking exercise.

At this point it just makes sense to cut out the university middle-man, recruit young ambitious school leavers and train them up instead of saddling them with immense debt.



What utter nonsense. This sort of view is frankly dangerous should it be allowed to pervade. Those who are too lazy to dedicate themselves to three years of study, not to mention the period prior to get good A Level grades should not be allowed to give important advice to clients. Universities are gatekeepers and then firms a further one, sifting out those with a 2:2 in drama, media studies or gender reactions or whatever. This system works and if it’s not broken, breaking it isn’t a good idea.



You don’t need a degree to be a good lawyer and having a degree doesn’t guarantee that you will become one.

By the time the graduate arrives to undertake their in-house training, the apprentice will be way ahead in the experience stakes and be financially better off.

In the not-so-distant past, very few solicitors were graduates with most qualifying by virtue of a combination of on-the-job training, night classes, and self-study.



What garbage.

You miss the fundamental point – school leavers in a law firm will never be given work of a responsible level. To do so would be so negligent that it would most likely invalidate the firm’s PI insurance. Therefore what real experience would they gain? Secondly, why would any high achiever consider this a better route than going to a prestigious university? Perhaps many years from now but presently no way.

If I were a client, and you gave me the option of someone who has met high academic standards and the. spent three years undergrad plus a further year or two studying, passing respected exams to a high standard versus someone who, let’s face it, was probably doing photocopying and filling out standard forms then I’ll pick the graduate all day.

Please accept these facts and stop your woke virtual signalling.


Pumphole of the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court

Alan, in your attempt to be old fashioned, you are missing the fact that until relatively recently, a degree was not a prerequisite for either branch of the profession.

There are still eminent counsel who practice, called in the 1970s, who do not have degrees.


Alan, your ignorance is showing. You do realise that those on this route do get a law degree and still do the SQE? They’ll just likely have more exposure to the firm’s practice areas and clients for a longer period of time before qualification, which will make them lawyers that are as good (if not better) in the long run.


Incoming trainee - What colour suit should I get?

Royal blue, navy, light grey or charcoal? With black shoes and black belt.

Fashion / professional advice very welcome, thank you.


Projecting Alpha

My suggestion is a chocolate brown double-breasted suit, at least two sizes larger than your usual, and a light green spread-collar shirt. Pair that with tan-coloured patent leather oxfords and a brown, decorative-pattern belt.




Navy! Safe for work and can works well for out of work events too



No one in my team wears a suit. Trousers and jumpers/shirt, maybe jeans on a Monday/Friday.

Honestly if I turned up in a suit they would ask why I’m wearing it.

This is a large U.S. firm.


Incoming trainee

Thanks, think it’s similar at my firm.

Assume I’ll need a suit for client meetings though?



Yes, your birthday suit


Trusted advisor

Hugo Boss black suit is a must have, with a deep navy tie from Canali. Brown Oxford from Church’s or Edward Green. Omega/Tag are tasteful choices. Avoid Rolex at all cost and they are for spiv.


Saville Row Only

Hugo Boss black suit? That’s a work experience outfit.



Light grey



Anything but light grey!!!


Kirkland NQ

It isn’t the colour of the suit that matters, it’s the colour of the Lambo you drive. Exotic green for me.


Kirk Berk

I believe you mean Verde Mantis – don’t catch the PPF when you give mine a wash


Snedderton (the Hon.)

I’d go with a black jacket and waistcoat plus morning trousers. Can’t go wrong with that.

Works for Northern/Midland counsel anyroad…


Comments are closed.

Related Stories