Watkins & Gunn welcomes first apprentice cohort

The first legal apprenticeship scheme in Wales has been launched by South Wales solicitors Watkins & Gunn.

Four apprentices will work for the firm while studying to become chartered legal executives.

The scheme targets school leavers and non-law graduates who wish to bypass the traditional route of funding a degree, a possible Graduate Diploma in Law and a Legal Practice Course (LPC) with no guarantee of a training contract.

Clive Thomas, managing partner of Watkins & Gunn said of the apprenticeships: “It opens up career development by blending vocational training with work-based learning. This is a great option for those looking to break into the legal profession and also for our existing staff wishing to further their careers – especially with the increasing costs of the traditional route to the profession and with there being so few opportunities to secure a training contract.”

The four apprentices will join 30 existing staff members across the firm’s three offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool.

Lucy Hammond, 24, who is based at Watkins & Gunn’s Cardiff office said: “I didn’t want to rack up thousands of pounds of debt by studying for the LPC qualification with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. The scheme gives me extensive training and a direct route into becoming a lawyer.”  

Watkins and Gunn follows a number of UK firms, both regional and national, to launch apprenticeship schemes. (27 September 2012)