SQE preparation courses for legal apprentices

A new opportunity for legal apprentices

Renewed enthusiasm for apprenticeships in recent years and the introduction of the Government’s Trail Blazer Initiative has led to an increase in the range of occupations offering apprenticeships, including in the legal sector.

Apprenticeships are geared towards high achieving school-leavers, giving them an opportunity to enter the workplace and secure a job without going to university.

One of the most recent, exciting innovations in the legal profession is the introduction of the solicitor apprenticeship, offering an opportunity for apprentices to qualify as solicitors through the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) without needing to undertake a university degree. The law apprenticeship route combines a paid job with a law firm, while studying for formal qualifications that are funded by the employer and the government.

While the university was, and is still, the major route to professional qualification for solicitors, solicitors, in fact, have never been required to hold a degree as a condition to practise law, as indicated by the Law Society. Law apprenticeships are a great option for a person seeking to start working right away after completing their schooling.

Many law firms employ apprentices today in various capacities, providing an appealing environment for school-leavers to gain experience of working life in a dynamic, thriving practice while earning an apprenticeship that could be degree-equivalent and meets the requirements to fully qualify as a solicitor via the SQE.

The work of an apprentice

The exact nature of the job will vary from one firm to the other and will also depend on the individual apprentice and the type of qualification being undertaken, while eligibility for a law apprenticeship will vary by programme.

For example, apprentices undertaking one of the higher level apprenticeships are likely to have a more specialist range of duties than someone participating in one of the lower level apprenticeship opportunities.

As the legal apprentices standards have been formalised, it is expected that a growing number of law firms will adopt them and start offering apprenticeships which are geared towards high achieving school-leavers, as well as continuing to provide paralegal training and qualification opportunities.

SQE as opportunity for apprentices

The SQE opens a new opportunity for apprentices to qualify as solicitors, which was not available previously.

In order to be admitted as a solicitor, an apprentice must pass stages 1 and 2 of the SQE, have undertaken a two-year period of workplace training as an apprentice, and meet the SRA character and suitability requirements at the point of admission. The duration of the programme can last 5-6 years.

Apprentices looking to take the final step to qualify as a solicitor via the SQE can take advantage of our flexible study options which allow them to fully prepare for Stage 1 and 2 of the SQE using a dynamic online study system and comprehensive yet accessible training materials which do not require them to take time off work and attend lessons in a classroom.

Law firms who have an interest in supporting their apprentices qualification programmes may make an arrangement to cover the fees of the preparation course and SQE, or offer protected study time for students who are self-funding. However, even if they do not, students are still able to maximise their preparation and chances of success without taking unnecessary time off, benefiting themselves and the law firms they work for.

We offer three packages to law apprentices for each stage of the SQE assessments at affordable prices that deliver great value. Our materials have been used and tested by thousands of candidates who have prepared with us for the QLTS assessments.

Learn more how we can help you prepare for the SQE.

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