Fieldfisher are to begin training solicitor apprentices with the University of Law (ULaw) as part of a training course designed to create new pathways to becoming a qualified lawyer.
The new course from ULaw, which launched on 25 September, will see 28 apprentices this autumn begin the six-year process in a programme aimed at encouraging a wider pool of candidates to enter the profession. Gowling WLG are also taking part in the programme.
The course includes a combination of work-based and online supervised study, together with practical and academic activities that will give students a LLB in legal practice skills and ultimately allow them to qualify as solicitors. The programme is also designed to comply with the Government-backed trailblazer standard for legal apprenticeships. Locations for the apprenticeships include our London and Manchester offices.
Once apprentices complete the assessments and parts one and two of the incoming solicitors qualifying exam (SQE), which is due to come into force in 2020, they will be able to apply to become fully recognised as lawyers. The SQE – often dubbed the ‘super exam’ – is part of an ‘outcomes-focused’ overhaul aimed at improving work-based training options and to open the profession up to entrants without degrees.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority announced in April 2017 that the SQE will replace the current requirements for trainee solicitors to take the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before undertaking two-year training contracts.
Emma Cox, head of HR, comments: "Ensuring that we have diversity of talent is increasingly important. Our clients are from a wide range of sectors, many of which do not always recruit from traditional backgrounds. We need to have teams advising them which are more representative of the communities in which they operate."
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