This is the Wedlake Bell profile for those considering solicitor apprenticeships. Students looking to apply for training contracts should check out Legal Cheek’s main Wedlake Bell profile.
New to the solicitor apprenticeship arena, Wedlake Bell is hiring its first cohort of up to two apprentices to commence this year, in 2024. Balancing commercial and private client work, aspiring solicitors at this full-service firm can engage in a variety of practices, from mid-market real estate to art & cultural property.
From day one, solicitor apprentices will tackle real legal work at Wedlake Bell. Embarking on eight seat rotations over the course of the six-year programme, newcomers will initially rotate annually for the first four years. There’s speculation that apprentices may even have the opportunity to be seconded internally for six months to a business seat, such as risk or compliance, providing them with a comprehensive view of the firm’s operations.
Following their initial four years, experienced apprentices will transition to the Wedlake Bell training contract, joining their graduate counterparts. Following a classic TC structure, fifth and sixth-year apprentices will undergo four six-month seat rotations during their final two years. This arrangement allows them to revisit a preferred practice area during their TC, with a view to ultimately qualifying in their dream department.
Let’s not overlook the educational aspect of the scheme: rookies will undertake a part-time law degree during their first four years, spending one day a week studying with The University of Law. In their final two TC years, recruits will focus on preparation for the Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE), emerging as fully qualified solicitors upon completion of the programme.
One of the key advantages of the Wedlake Bell apprenticeship scheme lies in the small cohort size, with the firm revealing to Legal Cheek that much of the training for apprentices will be conducted on a one-to-one basis and tailored to individual needs. Flexibility is also integrated into the programme, with recruits having a say in their preferred seats. This personalised support is highlighted as one of the main attractions of the firm’s TC, according to insiders, alongside the friendly staff and bustling social scene.
On the latter, we’re informed that as well as regular monthly socials, the firm often organises outings to theatre shows and mini golf. And don’t forget the plethora of multiple subsidised skiing and walking trips throughout the year. Apprentices can also participate in the firm’s various internal clubs—such as netball, football, or even the gardening club—which provide perfect opportunities for recruits with hobbies to stay connected with their passions. A raft of internal networks are also available for LGBTQ+ individuals, minority communities and faith groups.
In what it’s seeking from an aspiring apprentice, Wedlake Bell tells us: “We’re looking for individuals enthusiastic about working in the law, individuals with strong time management skills, and individuals who are effective communicators.”
This is Wedlake Bell’s Solicitor Apprenticeship profile. Read Wedlake Bell’s full Legal Cheek profile here.