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Legal Apprenticeships; are they worth it?

Since the publication of the Legal Education Training review, the rise in university fees and the introduction of Alternative Business Structures (ABS), legal apprenticeships have become increasing common in the legal industry. Traditionally, routes to becoming a lawyer were pretty much set in stone: study law at university, complete an LPC and secure a training contract. Despite the fact that the traditional route is still a well-respected and popular way of becoming a legal professional, many young people are setting their sights elsewhere. The question, however, still remains: are legal apprenticeships worth it?

What is a legal apprenticeship?

A legal apprentice is a person who joins a law firm straight out of school, working towards a formal education whilst simultaneously gaining hand-on experience. Legal apprenticeships are ideal for those that are looking for a solid career, without having to attend university and many legal apprentices go on to become Chartered Legal Executives.

Benefits of legal apprenticeships

The key benefit is that you can learn and earn money at the same time (which is often difficult for those who opt to go to university- especially considering how demanding law degrees are). Furthermore, you’ll be treated just like any other employee, which of course means paid holidays! You’ll get the support and mentoring you need and excellent career prospects once the apprenticeship is complete.

Which one do I choose?

There are two apprenticeships to choose from. Both of these are awarded by CILEx. We’ll break it down for you:

Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services

This one is generally aimed at young people over 16 years old. Most employers pick their apprentices based on good GCSE and A Level grades (see what Lance Mason are looking for). Many also look at relevant work experience. This apprenticeship typically lasts 18-24 months.

Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services

Again, good grades are key, perhaps even more so for the Level 4 apprenticeship. Additionally, employers often look for those who already work in the legal industry; it shows that the candidate is aware of the pressures and sensitive nature of legal work and will therefore be able to cope with the demands of the job. This apprenticeship typically lasts 24-30 months.

Stats and figures

A survey was conducted in 2012 by Skills for Justice (SFJ) and their findings further demonstrate that apprenticeships are really gaining momentum.

• 51 firms said they would employ 18% more paralegals over the next five years

• 83% of firms questioned said they are interested in taking on apprentices

And it has since becoming increasingly common for law firms to team up with CILEx, on the hunt for talented young apprentices.

Where do I start?

To apply for one of Lance Mason’s apprenticeships, visit our careers page today. Send us a CV and cover letter, detailing why you think you would be suitable for the scheme.

Good Luck!


By: Samantha Tomlinson