DWF launches paralegal ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship

DWF has become the latest firm to launch the government’s Trailblazer apprenticeship.

The firm will recruit 18 apprentices for September 2016, spread across its network.It currently has openings in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Birmingham.

The apprenticeships will last two years and DWF is partnering with BPP law school to deliver them. Apprentices will work a Level 3 Trailblazer paralegal qualification.

Students undertaking the programme will also have the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Higher Education, equivalent to the first year of a university degree.                            

DWF chief people officer Catherine Williams:  “Young people are increasingly looking for alternative ways to start their careers without going down the traditional university path, and these rigorous apprenticeships will offer students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to break into the legal sector and gain valuable qualifications.”

Bristol firm Burges Salmon has also launched Level 3 paralegal apprentices, and is looking to recruit four to start in September. A firm spokesperson said: “We have decided to offer the level 3 paralegal apprenticeship to give our apprentices the opportunity to find out if they are suited to a career in law before committing to a longer programme.  If they are we would support them in the completion of the level 7 solicitor apprenticeship, hopefully within a shorter time frame.”

The Trailblazer scheme was approved by the government in 2014. Three law-focused Trailblazer apprenticeships exist: the Level 3 paralegal apprenticeship that DWF is running, the Level 6 Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship, and the Level 7 apprenticeship, which leads to qualification as a solicitor. In March, Eversheds committed to running the Level 7 scheme, following in the footsteps of ITV.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer could become the first magic circle firm to embrace apprenticeships after management revealed plans to bring them in to its Manchester office.

Read more about legal apprenticeships here.


16 Mar 16: Eversheds launches Trailblazer solicitor-apprenticeships

20 Aug 14: Government approves standards allowing apprentices to qualify as solicitors