Apprenticeships in the legal sector

The Law Society of England and Wales


Apprenticeships work! That is the theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week which is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and their positive impact on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Although the take-up in the legal sector has been cautious, the Law Society has observed a steady increase in the number of firms offering apprenticeships.


As the evidence from other sectors indicates, apprenticeships promote social mobility, lower employee turnover, increase employee engagement, reduce cost, increase productivity, and thereby profitability. And firms now have more options than ever to utilise this training opportunity.


Types of Apprenticeship


To date, it is the shorter apprenticeships, lasting up to two years, which have been the most popular. These are usually the business services apprenticeships in areas such as marketing, IT, business development, HR, finance, team leadership and risk and compliance.


Since 2016, new legal apprenticeships have been offered as an alternative to the traditional graduate route to qualification. It is now possible to qualify as a solicitor, paralegal, probate technician or chartered legal executive by completing an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are designed around the needs of the employer and can help transform your business by bringing in fresh talent.


Apprenticeships can also be used as part of the continuing professional development of already qualified solicitors. Learning accessed through leadership and management apprenticeships can deepen apprentices’ skills and knowledge whilst allowing them to receive external recognition for their quality of practice. There is a suite of apprenticeships for people at all levels of management, including a Master’s Degree.


The Law Society support


There are many ways in which the Law Society can help you when it comes to apprenticeship programmes. Our website acts as a repository of apprenticeship-related content. Our two apprenticeship webpages contain links to all the information you might need before and during the process of running the apprenticeship scheme. Whether you’re looking for links to government apprenticeship pages or a guide to the steps to take when setting up an apprenticeship programme, the Law Society website is an excellent online resource.


We provide direct advice to anyone wishing to know more about apprenticeships. If you have any questions you can email directly to We collaborate with a large number of partners to develop our expertise and offer the best support to our members, by working with the training providers and regulators but also with organisations such as the City of London Corporation and National Apprenticeship Service.


Recruitment of the right apprentices is one, if not the most important part of the process. Being able to advertise as widely as possible is extremely important. The Law Society’ Gazette Jobs allows anyone wishing to promote their apprenticeship vacancies on its website.


We run regular events for our members and their firms to provide updates on recent developments and current trends and to enable the sharing of best practice. During the upcoming National Apprenticeship Week, we are organising two free events: a breakfast seminar in London (5 March) and a roundtable in Leeds (7 March). The attendees will have a chance to hear from a panel of experts, meet the training providers and network. For more information and booking, please visit the Law Society website.