Solicitor Apprenticeships

Solicitor Apprenticeships are designed for those who want to become a qualified solicitor through the new Solicitor Qualifying Exam (SQE) Route. The apprenticeship is a suitable pathway for those who don’t want to take the traditional university route as it includes in-depth legal training and occupational experience where you will develop practical legal experience backed by the theoretical knowledge required to apply this expertise to legal cases.

The solicitor apprenticeships are particularly important for aspiring solicitors as the funding provided covers the cost towards both the SQE 1 & 2 Exam (£4,564) and SQE preparation courses (over £7,200), ensuring that the next generation of solicitors is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel. You can formally qualify as a solicitor after passing Stages 1 and 2 of the SQE.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • Minimum of GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)
  • Three A-levels, including one in law
  • Employer’s support for the apprenticeship and current employment in a legal capacity
  • Eligibility to permanently reside and work 50% of the time in the UK
  • Not enrolled in another government-funded apprenticeship program concurrently
  • Equivalency in qualifications such as Level 3 Paralegal Qualification or CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice are allowed.

These requirements ensure candidates possess the foundational knowledge and support necessary for a successful journey towards becoming qualified solicitors through apprenticeship pathways.

Key Features:

Solicitor apprenticeships offer a comprehensive pathway to qualification, featuring several key components.

  • Solicitor apprenticeships offer a comprehensive pathway to qualification without university loans or student debts.
  • 95% Government Funding covers SQE 1 & 2 exam costs (£4,564) and SQE preparation expenses (over £7,200).
  • Duration of 6.5 years through distance learning.
  • Combination of 80% on-the-job work with 20% education and training.
  • Legal foundation topics and skill modules accessible online.
  • Personalised guidance includes 1-2-1 meetings with a progress tutor.
  • Regular feedback on submitted assignments supports progress.
  • Preparation for Parts 1 and 2 of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
  • Prepares learners for day one as a fully qualified solicitor.

Benefits for Learners

Solicitor apprenticeships provide a compelling entry into the legal field with several key benefits for learners:

No Student Debt: Apprentices can avoid the financial burden of university fees, providing a debt-free path to qualification.

Earn While Learning: Apprentices receive a salary while gaining the necessary qualifications to become a solicitor, blending academic study with practical experience.

Immediate Experience: The apprenticeship route offers early exposure to the legal profession, allowing learners to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings from the start.

SQE Pathway: Apprentices will become qualified via the new Solicitor Qualifying Exam (SQE) route which was introduced by the SRA to ensure that all solicitors meet the same high standards of knowledge and skills, regardless of their route into the profession.

This approach not only facilitates a smoother transition into the legal profession but also equips apprentices with a solid foundation of both knowledge and experience.

Benefits for Employers

Employers stand to gain significantly from investing in solicitor apprenticeships, with benefits extending across financial incentives, workforce development, and strategic growth:

Apprenticeship Levy Utilisation: For levy-paying businesses, solicitor apprenticeships offer an effective way to utilise their contributions, transforming a mandatory expense into a strategic investment in talent development.

Government Funding for Non-Levy Payers: Non-levy paying businesses can claim up to £27,000 in government funding per apprentice, substantially reducing the cost of training and developing new or existing staff.

Upskilling Existing Staff: Apprenticeships provide a structured pathway to upskill current employees, enhancing their legal expertise and adapting to evolving business needs without the need to hire externally.

These benefits not only help in financial management and staff development but also in fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, crucial for staying competitive in the dynamic legal sector.

Next Steps

If you would be interested in learning more about the next steps for enrolling onto the solicitor apprenticeship then please either:

Check your suitability through Datalaw’s eligibility calculator here.

Or if you would like to discuss this more in-depth then please feel free to book a 1-2-1 call with Datalaw’s Apprenticeship Coordinator here.