The route into becoming a Solicitor has always been perceived as being strictly academic, and not largely supported by the vocational route. The traditional route is:
- Law School
- Law Exams
- Trainee position
- Called to the bar
However, whilst traditional subjects, such as Law are of enormous value and should be encouraged, vocational subjects, such as Applied Law (level 3), are now providing new and exciting entry routes.
And this vocational route has been further boosted by the arrival of the Solicitor Degree Apprenticeship!
Degree Apprenticeships combine paid employment with university level learning. Open to anyone aged 18+, apprentices will split their time between university study and the workplace, and will be employed throughout.
At the end of the apprenticeship they will gain a degree, whilst also having the benefit of being in full-time employment. Course fees will be paid by the employers.
You will achieve a law degree, qualify as a Solicitor, and your course fees are paid – what is not to love about Degree Apprenticeships!?
Apprenticeships have been around for a few years within the legal industry – namely Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Level Apprenticeships in Legal Administration and Legal Services. However, in terms of becoming a Solicitor or Lawyer, these apprenticeships lead onto a relevant Law academic degree course, from which the traditional path is then followed.
The new Degree Apprenticeship covers the degree part and the professional solicitor qualification, creating a much more straightforward pathway.
Currently opportunities are limited, but it is hoped that this will grow and grow, creating a viable and realistic alternative path into the top legal professions.
BPP University currently offer a six-year Solicitor Degree Apprenticeship at a number of their centres around the country.
However, you will need to approach employers first, who will then team up with the appropriate Higher Education establishment
Entry requirements at BPP University are:
- Minimum of 5 GCSEs including a grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics; and
- 128 UCAS points at GCE A-Level (ABB) and (or other UK or international equivalent); or
- Between 96 and 127 UCAS points at GCE A-Level (or other UK or international equivalent) PLUS successful completion of the BPP University LLB (Hons) Admission Test.
City University, London also offers a six year Degree Apprenticeship, with a starting salary of £11,500 – £14,500, and one day a week spent at university on study leave. Again, you will need to find employment first.
Degree Apprenticeships open up a professional world to many people to whom previously the traditional doors of academia would have been firmly shut. This can only be great news for the legal profession as a whole, and exciting news for those whose aspirations have been enhanced.