Dozens of firms to adopt legal apprenticeships when levy takes effect

updated on 01 February 2017

Many more law firms are preparing to offer legal apprenticeships when the government’s apprenticeship levy comes into effect in April.

Apprenticeships in the legal sector have existed for some time, but as The Times reports, the government-backed apprenticeship levy – which enables employers to reclaim tax from their payrolls to fund apprenticeships – is set to encourage hundreds more firms to launch their own schemes. The year ahead should therefore see apprenticeships strengthened as an alternative route to becoming a solicitor – or even a judge in the future.

Sally Swift, legal services manager at Browne Jacobson (one of the earliest firms to adopt the legal apprenticeship pathway) spoke to the Times about the rationale for adopting the new route. She said: “We want a diverse workforce. We’d always offered trainee programmes that worked very well and were very successful, but from a social mobility perspective we wanted to make sure that the profession was accessible to all. We were very conscious that, with changes to university fees, we didn’t want to miss out on the talent pool of those that weren’t considering university. We knew that we could bring them into the business earlier and work with them sooner.”

A range of firms already offer legal apprenticeships – for opportunities, see LCN’s dedicated legal apprenticeships section