School leaver legal apprenticeship

School leaver apprenticeships

Leaders of the future – offering an alternative route to qualification

Creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is an essential part of who we are. Our apprenticeship programmes have made law more accessible by offering alternative routes to qualification.

If you’re enthusiastic about starting a career in law but don’t want to go to university and want to get into the workplace sooner, then this could be the programme for you.

Our apprenticeship

Our programme allows you to qualify as a solicitor by completing a Level 4 paralegal and Level 7 solicitor apprenticeship over a period of seven years. This is the same time it would take you to qualify through the traditional route.

You will begin by studying for your Level 4 paralegal apprenticeship whilst simultaneously working and gaining practical skills of how to become a successful qualified solicitor in a supportive and collaborative law firm. The apprenticeship allows you to put into practice the theoretical knowledge you learn, right away.

Following this route you will build the skills you will need as a solicitor and be able to enjoy the practical application of your professional qualification, enabling you to build a strong foundation for your future career. Our apprenticeship programmes are designed so all our newly qualified solicitors, regardless of the route they qualify into, are equipped to work with their clients and colleagues in a creative, collaborative and commercial way which paves the way for them to thrive in their future careers.

Both the apprenticeship and any qualifications associated with the apprenticeship, including the SQE will be fully funded by Michelmores. This apprenticeship is offered in our Exeter or Bristol offices.

How does it work?

During the first two years of your apprenticeship, you will complete the Level 4 paralegal apprenticeship, after which those with the ability and desire to continue with the Level 7 solicitor apprenticeship (you will jump a year by completing the paralegal apprenticeship) will have the opportunity to do so and achieve a law degree and the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) as part of your qualification.

Throughout your apprenticeship you will spend four days a week working closely with qualified lawyers and other professionals in a team, and have one day to study at the University of Law. You will spend time in several of our business support and legal departments, providing you with a breadth and depth of experience.

Can I apply for the solicitor apprenticeship directly?

We want all our apprentices to complete the paralegal apprenticeship programme before committing to the solicitor programme. Working as a paralegal apprentice for two years gives you the opportunity to decide if a career in law is right for you. For whatever reason, if you decide that it’s not the right thing for you then you will still walk away with a legal qualification if you complete the paralegal programme.

What is involved in the application process?

  • Submit Application
  • Video Interview and psychometric assessments
  • 1st stage interview and written exercise
  • Final Interview

To be eligible to apply you must have:

  • Three A Levels at Grade C or above, or equivalent
  • Five GCSEs, including Maths and English, or equivalent, at Grade C/4 or above

Application dates:

Applications are now closed for our school leaver apprenticeship and will re-open in October 2024.

Things you need to know:

For any further questions please email

Busting some of the apprenticeship myths:

  • Apprenticeships aren’t the route people take if they don’t get good enough grades for university
  • You will be as qualified as someone who went to university and completes the training contract route
  • Through the Michelmores apprenticeship you will have the opportunity to gain the same skills, experience and learning as the traditional trainee solicitor route.
  • You will earn the same salary as other trainees and newly qualified solicitors (NQs) by the final two years of your apprenticeship
  • You will gain a degree and a qualification
  • You have the same opportunities to progress as other NQs