updated on 11 May 2020
Global law firm Kennedys has launched an alternative route for aspiring lawyers to qualify as solicitors, which enables UK graduates to begin earning immediately.
Coming into effect in Autumn 2021, the alternative route will incorporate the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) and form a 30-month Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship (GSA). Graduates will start earning as soon as they begin the GSA, without needing to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
On the programme, law graduates will gain qualifying legal work experience in one of the firm’s teams before sitting the SQE1 and SQE2 exams, which are required to qualify as a solicitor.
The firm’s HR director Caroline Wilson said: “Introducing the new SQE route to qualification will allow us to attract and train people from a much wider range of backgrounds, as graduates can start earning as soon as they commence the GSA.
“Kennedys has always embraced providing opportunities to all and following the success of our Legal Apprenticeship, launched in 2012, we wanted to introduce this new route as soon as we could to enable talented graduates to qualify at Kennedys.
“A more diverse workforce brings with it better perspectives and ideas, which is crucial as we look to transform legal services for our clients. We look forward to meeting our applicants over the coming months and watching them succeed as the next generation of lawyers at Kennedys.”
Kennedys’ legal apprenticeship programme has been running for eight years and has seen the firm recruit 84 apprentices – 75% of whom are still at the firm.
Its existing training contracts and paralegal apprenticeships will still be available for graduates and school leavers.