DWF launches legal apprenticeship scheme

DWF has become the latest law firm to roll out a legal apprenticeship scheme for school leavers.

The firm will recruit five school leavers to join its Paralegal Academy, which will provide the aspiring lawyers with the necessary inductions, training and development and study support to become legal executives next month.

The news follows Gordons launching its apprenticeship scheme earlier this year, offering a four-year programme for five students who have just completed their A-levels (20 June 2011).

Following the Leeds firm’s announcement, Gordons managing partner Paul Ayre said: “One of the barriers [to the legal profession] is the need to be university-educated. For a variety of reasons, not all bright and ambitious 17 and 18-year-olds are able to go on to further education. Our idea is to create opportunities for some of these.”

Irwin Mitchell arguably started the legal apprenticeship trend by its partnership with the Institute of Legal Executives, which gave non-lawyer staff the opportunity to receive legal training (1 June 2011).

DWF’s legal apprentices will hold the titles of legal admin assistants. The successful applicants will have the opportunity to work in the firm’s Manchester, Liverpool or Preston offices. 

Norton Rose and Eversheds have also both got involved with apprenticeship schemes, with Norton Rose hiring its first apprentice earlier this year into its finance team (14 February 2011).

Eversheds, meanwhile, has announced its intention to support the drive on apprenticeships by enrolling students that have reached GCSE level into its paralegal community, knowledge management and IT services.