Queen Mary and BARBRI create Russell Group’s first solicitor apprenticeship pathway

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By Legal Cheek on


London uni in early talks with possible partner firms

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is set to become the first member of the Russell Group to launch a solicitor apprenticeship programme in partnership with BARBRI.

The six-year pathway for aspiring solicitor apprentices involves splitting their time between their training firm and university, where they complete a certificate of higher education in the first two years, covering topics such as the English legal system, research, drafting, client communication, and an introduction to business finance.

Still in its early planning stages, the programme will see apprentices progressing onto an undergraduate law degree before they embark on the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), with preparation support from BARBRI during the final two years.

 The 2024 Legal Cheek Solicitor Apprenticeships Most List

Additionally, over the six years, QMUL School of Law says apprentices will develop their work place skills through various learning projects in collaboration with their training firms. This will likely include areas such as pro-bono and practice innovation.

QMUL is currently in early stage conversations with law firms, in-house legal departments, and legal services providers to explore potential partnerships, with the aim of taking on its first cohort of solicitor apprentices in Autumn 2026.

Separately, BARBRI has partnered with Canterbury Christ Church University, offering discounted access to its SQE prep courses for the university’s students and graduates. This builds on the prep provider’s tie-ups with the likes of Edge Hill, Anglia Ruskin, London South Bank, Leicester De Montfort and King’s College London.

Christopher Howard, university partnerships director for BARBRI, said: “We are delighted to have established this new partnership with the leading team at Canterbury Christ Church University to support students and alumni across their dynamic range of degree programmes on their journey to solicitor qualification.”

Want to find our more about solicitor apprenticeship opportunities? Check out The Legal Cheek Solicitor Apprenticeship Most List 2024, your go-to guide covering everything from pay and locations to number of places and training structure.



Shouldn’t QM be focusing on improving their contemptible higher education programmes before worrying about apprentices? And then universities cry about lack of funds. Laughable.


Getting training contracts from law firms are really difficult. My friend’s daughter who was graduated from UCL is struggling to find a training contract for over a year. She was just shortlisted as one of the final five candidates from over 10,000 applications, fighting for two trainee positions. As Law is extremely competitive to get a trainee contract, their new Law course would be extremely successful.

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