US firm launches new solicitor apprenticeship programme in London

updated on 27 October 2023

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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP recently introduced a new solicitor apprenticeship programme to improve access to the profession, making it one of the first US-headquartered firms to make this move.

The six-year programme is an alternative route into the profession designed to equip aspiring lawyers with the skills and knowledge required to qualify as a solicitor. The new route “offers an opportunity for those with the drive, intellect and ambition to train and qualify with a leading law firm without the financial barrier of attending university”. The firm’s apprentices will earn a salary of £25,000, which will increase each year. School fees are also covered, with relocation support for all successful applicants based outside of London.

Apprentices’ time will be split between four days working in the office and learning on the job, and one day dedicated to studying in preparation for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Solicitor apprentices will gain insights into, and experience of, a range of practice groups and the various sides of the global law firm, while securing a full LLB law degree and completing the SQE in order to qualify as a solicitor.

Applications for the firm’s first two solicitor apprentices opened at the start of October and are due to close on 7 January 2024. The two successful applicants will then begin their apprenticeship with Weil in September 2024.

In order to apply, applicants must have achieved a minimum of AAB at A level.

Mike Francies, the firm’s managing partner in London, recognised that many people in the UK face barriers to entering the legal profession via the traditional route and said the firm is “keen for people to apply as we believe we can offer an exceptional opportunity for our new apprentices to start their legal careers”.

Want to know more about solicitor apprenticeships? Find out all about this route to qualification in LawCareers.Net's legal apprenticeships masterclass.