The Law Apprenticeships Guide 2022

GCSE The foundation of your career and the essential first step – good grades are important to progress in your legal career. A level The academic stage between GCSE and university or the beginning of a paralegal/solicitor apprenticeship. Intermediate apprenticeship The intermediate apprenticeship is aimed at school leavers who have not done A levels. Entry requirements are five GCSEs graded 9-4 (A to C) or equivalent. Apprentices will develop skills to assist in the progression of cases on an administrative level. It is usually a 15 to 21-month course. Paralegal apprenticeship The paralegal apprenticeship delivers paralegal training in a particular legal practice area. Entry requirements are five GCSEs graded 9-4 (A to C) and three A levels graded C or above (or equivalent). It is a 24 to 30-month course. It can lead on to further training via the solicitor apprenticeship route to qualify as a solicitor. It is also possible to go on to qualify as a chartered legal executive, although smaller numbers of paralegals take this route. Solicitor apprenticeship The solicitor apprenticeship is a six-year programme of paid, on-the-job training ending in qualification as a solicitor. The entry requirements are five GCSEs graded 9-4 (A to C) and three A levels (minimum grades vary among employers from CCC to AAB) or equivalent work experience. The apprenticeship also integrates a law degree, obtained at the end of the fourth year. Apprentices learn law and legal practice alongside gaining competence in legal skills, commercial skills and professional conduct.

From September 2021, all solicitor apprentices will be required to pass the Solicitors Qualifying Exam. The apprenticeships will include preparation and training, with the assessments incorporated throughout the apprenticeship. Paralegal Paralegals have traditionally worked alongside solicitors in law firms as support staff, although in practice many paralegals do the same work as trainees or newly-qualified solicitors – although this is almost always for lower pay. Whether you become a paralegal through an apprenticeship or secure a job as a paralegal after graduating from university, it is possible to progress onto qualifying as a solicitor, legal executive or a more senior paralegal role. CILEX chartered legal executive A legal executive is another type of lawyer who is trained to specialise as an expert in one particular area of law. Within that specialism, the job of a legal executive is very similar to that of a solicitor – legal executives advise clients, draft documents and conduct research to find solutions to problems. In Summer 2021 CILEX will launch the CILEX Professional Qualification which provides three outcomes: CILEX paralegal, CILEX advanced paralegal and CILEX lawyer. Solicitor Solicitors provide advice and assistance on legal matters. They are the first point of contact for people and organisations (eg, companies and charities) seeking legal advice and representation. Solicitors may work in very different areas of law, but the fundamentals of the job remain largely the same. These include meeting and advising clients on their legal problems, doing legal research to find solutions, drafting important documents such as contracts or wills, and occasionally representing clients at tribunals or in court.

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