First legal apprentices join Kennedys

Kennedys’ legal apprenticeship scheme, that offers school leavers the opportunity to practice law without a degree, has welcomed its first group of ten apprentices.

Employed as legal administrators the apprentices are working towards taking on roles as litigation executives at the firm, starting on an annual salary of between £14,000 and £18,000 depending on location.

The apprentices are spread across the firm’s Chelmsford, London, Maidstone, Manchester or Sheffield offices for the three year apprenticeship, which is split into two parts.

The first part of the apprenticeship is a one-year introductory programme, being run in partnership with specialist legal apprenticeship provider Damar Training and ILEX Tutorial College (ITC), which combines a competency element and a knowledge element. The apprentices will then be required to sit the ILEX legal environment paper.

Following completion of the first year, the apprentice can apply for the two-year advanced apprenticeship that will immerse them in a host of legal work and equip them with key legal skills.

Emma Phipps, HR Advisor from Kennedys said: “We had an overwhelming response from applicants and have appointed ten top class A Level leavers into our ranks.

“We already employ many high achieving individuals who have chosen to enter the law using an alternative route and hope that the Legal Apprenticeship scheme will further reinforce Kennedys commitment to attracting a diverse range of talented lawyers,” she added.

Christopher Helme, from Glossop in Derbyshire, is an apprentice at Kennedys’ Sheffield office. He said: “I was attracted to Kennedys because they are a top law firm offering a real alternative to the university route which, after the increase in tuition fees, could result in a debt of £50,000 or more. With an apprenticeship I have the opportunity to acquire practical skills and real work experience alongside qualifications. I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity.”

Jenny Pelling from ITC said “It’s yet more evidence of the appetite within the legal services’ market for apprenticeships and vocational learning. Kennedys’ investment in apprentices is very timely, coming just after the Legal Education and Training Review’s recent discussion paper comments about blending vocational training with work-based learning.”