Traditionally, the legal industry recognised one main route to qualification. Namely, an individual would complete 1) an undergraduate degree 2) a diploma in legal practice and 3) a two year training contract. In recent years, the industry has focused on making careers in law more accessible. As a result, we have seen the introduction of new ways of qualifying as a solicitor, recognising that not everybody has the opportunity to qualify via the traditional route, nor is it the best and only route possible. Michelmores offers three routes to qualification:
A Training Contract is a two-year training programme.
During a Training Contract, a Trainee will undertake four ‘seats’, each six months in duration, across four different teams within the business. A Trainee will receive both contentious and non-contentious experience and at the end of the Training Contract, they will choose which area of law they would like to qualify into.
As briefly set out above, prior to commencing a Training Contract, a Trainee will have studied an undergraduate degree (and if that degree is not classified as a qualifying law degree, they will also have a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)) together with the Solicitors Qualifying Examination which has replaced the Legal Practice Course (LPC). If you have completed the LPC already you are still able to apply for a Training Contract.
The Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship Scheme is for candidates who have an undergraduate degree in any subject. For candidates with a qualifying law degree or a GDL, the scheme is 2.5 years. For candidates with a non-law degree who have not studied the GDL, the scheme is three years as these candidates will also undertake a six month Legal Essentials course at the start of the apprenticeship. Graduates join straight from University and will work in the firm four days a week and then have a study day to prepare for and complete the SQE qualification. Other than studying whilst you work, the scheme is very similar to a Training Contract in that, like Trainees, Graduates rotate around different seats. The key difference is that at Michelmores, Graduates will choose to specialise in our Real Estate, Business or Private Client Group.
If you are interested in this scheme, please see this link to an article written by Henny Bullock which describes a day in the life of a Graduate Solicitor Apprentice at Michelmores.
Our School-leaver Apprenticeship Scheme is an alternative route to qualification open to candidates who haven’t been to University, who have either recently left school or been working in other roles since finishing school. The programme is seven years, following which Apprentices will be fully qualified solicitors. During the programme, Apprentices will take one day a week to study for a Level 4 paralegal apprenticeship and subsequently (if they choose to continue on their route to qualify as a solicitor) a Level 7 solicitor apprenticeship, whilst working in the firm for the other four days. Further information about the scheme can be found via this link.
This is a fantastic new opportunity to gain a legal qualification without going to university and whilst simultaneously gaining real life practical experience.
Introducing new methods of qualifying as a solicitor forms part Michelmores’ commitment to being a responsible business. The firm is dedicated to achieving inclusion and belonging and ensuring we make careers in law more accessible. Other work that we have done which focuses on social mobility includes our Momentum Programme through which we work with schools to mentor and support children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. See this link for further details.
If you would like more information about our work as a responsible business, please see this link to our Planet Mark member page.
If you’d like further information on the schemes available at Michelmores, please contact email@example.com