Bristol law firm and City Council launch solicitor apprenticeship scheme
Coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) with Bristol City Council have launched their solicitor apprenticeship scheme in Bristol.
The solicitor apprenticeship will take six years to complete and will consist of four years studying towards a law degree. Whilst being employed on a full time basis, the chosen apprentices will be expected to complete distance learning, with study days spent at university. For the final two years the apprentices will join the graduate rotation and newly qualified solicitor process.
Bristol-based Sam Lee, Head of Recruitment at WBD, said : “We’re thrilled to launch our solicitor apprenticeship scheme on the same week as National Apprenticeship Week. Hiring apprentices is absolutely the right thing to do in our sector, creating alternative avenues for people who believe that university isn’t the right path for them. We have been amazed by the success of the scheme so far and the commitment shown by our apprentices.”
“As a firm, we’re committed to supporting social mobility, opening up new routes into the legal profession and improving employability for young people. We will continue to develop and expand our apprenticeship offering and provide continued learning opportunities following our apprentices’ graduation.”
Head of the Council’s Legal Service, Nancy Rollason commented: “We are pleased to be working with Womble Bond Dickinson to launch our first solicitor apprenticeship programme, which will be a rolling programme year on year. We are keen to recruit dynamic people from a diverse range of backgrounds who will have the opportunity to contribute to the life of the city and who want to pursue an alternative to University.”
WBD already runs a successful solicitor apprenticeship programme in both its Newcastle and Southampton offices and was amongst the first in the legal profession to make legal apprenticeships available. It employs a total of 37 apprentices including solicitor apprentices, paralegal apprentices and apprentices working in support teams including HR, facilities and IT. Bristol is the firm’s second largest UK office.
The firm’s apprenticeship scheme was already recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service when it won Newcomer Large Employer at the National Apprenticeship Awards. It was also named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service.
Bristol City Council has been managing, supporting and developing new partnerships that promote higher level skills in the City through apprenticeships. The Council has 185 staff engaged in apprenticeships at all levels of study and have assisted over 2,000 local people gain new skills and sustainable careers through supported apprenticeship programmes.