Mayer Brown has hired extra two students through its partnership with the University of Law, which allows apprentices to become solicitors in six years while continuing their studies.
Mayer Brown, which signed up to the partnership earlier this year, will employ successful candidates Rosie Ahmadi and David Elikwu for the duration of their six-year apprenticeship while they study part-time at ULaw.
The firm said it had only agreed to take on one apprentice through this scheme, but decided to take on two this year and more next because the calibre of applicants who put themselves forward for this apprenticeship was “extremely high”.
The programme consists of a four year part-time LLB followed by the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and the Professional Skills Course (PSC) to be completed in two years. In year three of the programme, work will start to count towards the training contract as a period of recognised training, which will continue until the PSC is completed.
Mayer Brown has confirmed that students in the programme will have to take out a loan to cover their studies, although it is providing a salary of £18,000 a year, reviewed on a yearly basis. After students have completed the degree, the firm will cover the costs of the LPC, PSC and SRA registration.
The application process for the firm’s next legal apprenticeship intake opens in January 2016.
The first firm to sign up to the University of Law scheme was North West outfit Hillyer McKeown, which offers both private client and commercial services. At the time it stated that it would pay trainees ‘a competitive salary’ but would not disclose details on wages.
Other firms, including Addleshaw Goddard, are championing a government-approved apprenticeship standard, unconnected to ULaw’s scheme, which will also allow apprentices to transition to qualified solicitors.