We are currently accepting applications for our Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme. Applications will close on 31 January 2022.
Applications will open on 01 December 2021. You will need to submit your application by 31 January 2022.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend our selection event in April 2022, with final offers (conditional on A-Level results) being made during April 2022. You will then being your 6-year apprenticeship in September 2022.
What is a solicitor apprenticeship?
A Solicitor Apprenticeship is a six-year route to qualifying as a solicitor. The scheme combines work and study and allows candidates to work towards a LLB university degree alongside their day job at a law firm.
Apprentices spend four days a week working for their employer, and one day a week studying with the apprenticeship education provider. If you’re not planning on going to university but would still like to pursue a career as a lawyer, a Solicitor Apprenticeship could be the perfect opportunity for you. Apprentices get the chance to work alongside leaders in their fields to increase their knowledge and develop research, negotiation and client-service skills through practical, hands-on experience.
By the end of the six years, apprentices will be fully qualified solicitors, ready to advise clients on a broad range of legal issues.
What do apprentices study?
During their weekly study day, apprentices learn about core areas of the law, including topics such as contract law, criminal law, company law and dispute resolution. They also learn key legal skills including research, legal writing, client service and negotiation, which they’re able to put into practice in the office.
What qualifications do apprentices get?
Solicitor Apprentices complete the Solicitor Level 7 Apprenticeship. They will also work towards an LLB (Hons) and Legal Practice.
Apprentices sit the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations during the six-year programme. Assuming they pass all assessments, apprentices will qualify as a Solicitor in England and Wales at the end of the six-year scheme.
What areas of law do apprentices work on?
This will vary depending on the firm the apprenticeship is undertaken at as each firm specialises in different practice areas and has expertise in different sectors.
At Lewis Silkin, apprentices rotate through our two business divisions: Creators, Makers and Innovators (CMI) and Employment, Immigration and Reward (EIR) - sitting within legal practice groups such as Employment, Immigration, Brands & Intellectual Property, Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Corporate and Real Estate.
Our CMI division works for innovative and brand-focused businesses from start-ups to multinationals. In this team, apprentices will develop an understanding of the industries in which our clients operate and will gain experience across a wide range of legal services. Over time, this may see them supporting on commercial and real estate deals, learning about clients’ trademarks and IP rights, or diving into the world of dispute resolution.
In our Employment, Immigration and Reward Division (EIR), we offer an unrivalled service supporting clients on their HR, employment and immigration law needs domestically and internationally. We are one of the top-ranked law firms for this kind of work, so it’s no surprise that we work for many of the world’s leading businesses. Apprentices work with the team to support clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters.
What kind of work do apprentices do?
During the early stages of an apprenticeship at Lewis Silkin, responsibilities will include:
- Attending meetings and taking notes when requested
- Supporting members of your team in administrative tasks including diary management
- Carrying out document management including filing, binding and bundling
- Conducting research when required
- Liaising with clients in a professional manner
- Getting to know Lewis Silkin’s business
As apprentices gain experience, their duties and level of responsibility will increase. Over time, this will see them getting involved with:
- More complex research tasks
- Drafting legal documents
- Working on more technical transactions
- Developing skills such as client service and negotiation
What support do apprentices get?
All apprentices get a dedicated supervisor to help manage their workload, further their professional development and offer support throughout the apprenticeship.
In addition to being part of a supportive team, apprentices at Lewis Silkin will have a network of mentors and buddies to turn to for advice, guidance, friendship and support. Everyone at Lewis Silkin has access to our Employee Assistance Programme and confidential on-site counsellor, who can assist with any problems they may be facing in or outside of work.
What are employers looking for in Solicitor Apprentices?
Again, this varies from firm to firm. At Lewis Silkin, we’re looking for smart, committed and passionate people, ready to succeed in a fast-paced office environment.
Key skills we are looking for are:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- A good eye for detail
- Strong organisation and time management abilities
- Creative thinking and analytical skills
We also look for the following qualities:
- An excellent team player
- Ability to follow instructions
- Motivated with a strong commitment to learning
- Desire to provide excellent client service
Our entry requirements are a minimum of three A Levels totalling 128 UCAS points (A, B, B) in addition to 5 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, including English and maths.
What is it like to work at Lewis Silkin?
From the moment our people join us, they will be actively involved in Lewis Silkin life. We offer interesting, challenging, and varied work, as well as hands-on training and a chance to work with some of our big-name clients.
We have an active corporate social responsibility committee and a broad range of employee networks. We also have regular social events, which are great opportunities to make new friends and get to know the team.
Life at Lewis Silkin
A few members of the firm share their thoughts on what it’s like to work at Lewis Silkin here.
Karish Andrews, Partner, Corporate:
“We are really proud of our Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme. At Lewis Silkin we want our workplace to be a diverse and inclusive environment, reflective of our friends, clients, and the society in which we live and work. We are committed to increasing the number of ethnically diverse solicitors and staff at the firm, providing access to a wider pool of applicants, and to ensuring that our culture allows everyone to feel at home and be successful.”
Priya Gandhi, Associate, Business Immigration:
“I joined Lewis Silkin in August 2011 as a Legal PA specialising in immigration law. With a growing desire and drive to enter the legal profession but without the time or financial resources to undertake this full-time and independently, Lewis Silkin saw the potential in me and supported my return to university to gain my legal qualification through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). I commenced my legal studies in September 2013 at the University of Westminster. Very much like the Solicitor Apprenticeship programme, I studied for six years before qualifying into the immigration team as an Associate in November 2019.
Opting for an alternative route into law such as through CILEx or a Lewis Silkin Solicitor Apprenticeship is not just a different way of doing things but is actually very savvy too. Not only did it allow me to develop skills and experience in a variety of legal areas under the guidance of extremely talented lawyers, but I gained a valuable qualification at the end of it and earned money throughout. I can truly vouch for this route and, having received nothing but positive encouragement from my colleagues throughout my studies and training, I would be the first to encourage applications from anyone keen to develop a career in law.”
Pearl Agyemfra, Paralegal, Employment:
“I am a Paralegal within the Employment team and my responsibilities are varied. I support the team of fee-earners on a range of different matters, which could involve working on Employment Tribunal claims, attending investigation meetings, analysing data on Data Subject Access Requests and looking into complex research tasks. There is always scope to be involved with market leading work, which will further my professional development. I have experienced everyone at Lewis Silkin to be extremely friendly, supportive and there is a collegiate team culture within the firm. Aside from work, there are regular firm/team social events that are held, which help me get to know the people that I work with. I have also enjoyed being able to participate in the corporate social responsibility initiatives that we are involved in as a firm, I volunteer at the Employment Pro-Bono Clinic and read fortnightly with local primary school children.”
Katie Wharton, Learning & Development Manager, Human Resources:
"I recently joined Lewis Silkin as Learning & Development Manager, having worked as a trainer for over 10 years across many sectors. I manage the Lewis Silkin Business School, which supports our entire population with learning and development opportunities, wherever they are with their career.
We run presentation skills workshops, leadership programmes, unconscious bias training, to name just a few of our courses.
I am also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, and am proud to be training up a number of our colleagues as Mental Health First Aiders this year.
I joined Lewis Silkin in lockdown, and have been so grateful for the incredibly warm welcome I received, even though it was all virtual. We have adapted brilliantly, and are prepared for whatever the future of work looks like."
Angel Skyers, Solicitor Apprentice, Employment:
I have been an apprentice at Lewis Silkin since September 2020. So far as an apprentice, my overall experience has been both challenging and exciting. I’ve learnt loads of new things from scratch which has been difficult at times, however I receive a lot of guidance and training to support me. Everyone is so supportive and friendly; I have never been afraid to ask a question which means I now have a much more varied skill set than when I started the job!
The combination of studying and working means that I am learning about so many different aspects of law. Although I have only been a part of the team for just over a year, I have learnt so much from my courses at BPP (everything from tort law to Client Care) and my office experience. With 5 years left of this experience I am certain I will be ahead of the level I would have been had I chosen to go to university. You learn so much through your degree apprenticeship as well as being in the office, actually practising the job you are aspiring towards.
Studying and working can be a little hard to balance sometimes however, once you have found your preferred way of organising yourself (I like to keep diaries and make to-do lists), you will soon find it totally manageable.
I wouldn’t change my decision on taking the apprenticeship route as I have not had any doubts about my experience.