Foot Anstey launches training academy for school leavers

Foot Anstey is to establish an in-house training academy, aimed at training its own junior school-leaver lawyers.

The West Country firm is partnering with local Weston College to launch the academy for school leavers, who will join the firm this September. It will recruit ten individuals to work at the firm until the end of the year, from whom it will pick five apprentices.

The five will work at the firm for the next year, with the possibility of a six-month extension, splitting their time between workplace training and Weston College. After that, Foot Anstey may offer the apprentices permanent roles, much like a newly-qualified solicitor process. The recruits will qualify via CILEx level one and two, with the firm creating a ‘career lawyer’, rather than an apprentice.

The selection criteria have altered slightly since the firm started to assemble its academy (2 December 2013). It had originally planned to recruit 20 people, with both school leavers and graduates joining its programme.

“The recruits are going to be in the real estate and construction teams,” Foot Anstey managing partner John Westwell told Lawyer 2B. “Once they’re qualified we envision them being somewhere between the level of paralegals and NQs. We want to train them in-house because we want them to qualify as people who not only have workplace experience but also have the support of the legal theory they’ve learned.”

Westwell added: “This is something of a pilot for us, because we want to ensure this approach works for us, but both we and the college are very enthusiastic about it and we are planning to approach other local firms to see if they want to partner with the college to deliver the same scheme.”

The scheme will not affect Foot Anstey’s training contract, as the firm is keeping the two routes entirely separate.