Trowers to take on solicitor apprentices from 2025

Avatar photo

By Rhys Duncan on


More firms embrace TC alternative

Trowers & Hamlins is launching a new solicitor apprenticeship programme, with the first intake set to arrive in the office in September 2025.

Future lawyers will be able to join any of Trowers’ UK offices, London, Birmingham, Exeter or Manchester, with applications open from autumn 2024.

By the end of their six-year course apprentices will have gained an LLB law degree and completed the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), whilst also spending four days a week at work. Matching up with the typical trainee model, apprentices will complete rotations across the firm’s practice areas.

The number of spots on offer has not yet been decided.

News of the offering follows hot on the heels of the launch of our new Solicitor Apprenticeships Most List 2024, a go-to guide covering everything from pay and locations to number of places and training structure.

 The 2024 Legal Cheek Solicitor Apprenticeships Most List

Commenting on the new apprenticeship route, Trowers senior partner Sara Bailey said:

“In order to attract the best people to Trowers we know that we need to recruit from the broadest pool of talent. For some a university education is a barrier to practising the law — we need to remove that barrier and level the playing field. Our new apprenticeship programme is a great equalizer for any aspiring lawyer hoping to enter the legal profession.”

“We have several initiatives within our ED&I strategy to support this approach and I am proud that we have signed up to ‘The Solicitors Apprenticeship Pledge,’ she continued. “I look forward very much to the first cohort of apprentices coming onboard and seeing the positive impact I am sure they will make both on the firm and their new colleagues.”

Trowers will now join Magic Circle duo Freshfields and Slaughter and May, both also taking on their first cohort of solicitor apprentices in 2025.

Apprenticeships aside, The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows Trowers recruits around 28 graduate trainees each year on a starting salary of £45,000 in London and £31,000 in Birmingham, Exeter and Manchester.



Apprentices will badly backfire in a few years. Firms are obviously gleefully implementing these initiatives to save money and have someone do the grunt work for the first 2-4 years of the apprenticeship.

The issue is the quality of lawyers coming through this pipeline. They will be near the same level (on average) as uni grads. They’ll be excellent office jockeys, but very poor lawyers. Yet, they HAVE to be promoted eventually; you can’t recruit people and not allow them to advance on par with ‘real’ solicitors (especially if they tick certain boxes which firms love to see ticked).

The result will be senior ranks and partnership consisting of questionably skilled former apprentices.


Terrible take. Apprenticeships train and learn both the educational and practical skills they need to be a lawyer simultaneously for six years before they qualify. They’ll have been learning how to do the job in a law firm 3 times longer than a traditional trainee to NQ would have.


Learning to make photocopies, perhaps. Intensive study of a GDL/LLB is the best way to understand the law. Not everyone at the firms is a deals lawyer — advisory/contentious lawyers need a solid background in law, which apprentices don’t have.


The basic intellectual requirements of the apprentice will be the same as that required of a graduate. A Law degree’s content has little to do with practise as a solicitor. That much is obvious as roughly half of newly qualified solicitors don’t have a Law degree. What the apprentice will have over both of them is actual experience of the Firm and how it works, no Student Loan, money in the bank and the firm paying them to qualify. As it stands at the moment a Degree is merely a part of a filter that never used to be required and is becoming more and more meaningless. It was never previously required for any of the professions other than Medicine.

Join the conversation