DWF has launched the new programme with a group of five individuals, who are based across the business' London, Milton Keynes, Liverpool and Manchester offices. The five-year programme will see the apprentices complete paralegal and trainee-level work, with eight seat rotations of either six or nine months in corporate, litigation and insurance, alongside the completion of an LLB qualification. After three years, the apprentices will join the current years' trainee cohort to complete their final two years' training, before becoming fully-qualified lawyers in 2023.
The scheme builds on the success of DWF's paralegal apprenticeship scheme which, with a sixteen-strong initial intake, was one of the legal sector's largest and most geographically diverse when it launched in October 2016. The apprentices worked towards a level-three Paralegal Trailblazer Legal Apprenticeship and also had the opportunity to complete a Certificate in Higher Education, a qualification equivalent to a year’s full-time study at a university, delivered by BPP University. Since the first intake of the scheme, DWF has given the opportunity to 47 apprentices, with 83% still remaining with the business. From the launch of the Apprenticeship schemes, DWF has also continued to grow its non-legal apprenticeship pool and now supports c.45 business services apprentices across its finance, business administration and facilities teams.
Florence Van Schependom-Brown, Resourcing and Talent Acquisition Manager at DWF, said: "The legal profession has undergone considerable change in recent years to become more flexible, open and inclusive than ever, and nowhere are these changes more positively reflected than in the changing nature of educational and career paths for young people. Offering a variety of options ensures that we can continue to recruit from a wide and diverse pool of talent and play our part in reducing barriers to entry and improving social mobility within the profession.""This new apprenticeship offering will be an incredibly valuable addition to our wider apprenticeship programme, and our first apprentices have already shown real drive and commitment. We're looking forward to watching and supporting their progress over the next few years."