The two-year apprenticeships will be offered across both the firm’s commercial and insurance teams and will give students the opportunity to work towards a level-three trailblazer paralegal apprenticeship. Students undertaking the programme will also have the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Higher Education, equivalent to the first year of a university degree, alongside the apprenticeship qualification. DWF was one of just a handful of UK law firms that formed the exclusive, employer-led ‘trailblazer’ group that developed the standards for law apprenticeships, ensuring that apprentices have the correct knowledge and skills needed to pursue a successful career in law.
Catherine Williams, Chief People Officer at DWF, said: “Young people are increasingly looking for alternative ways to start their careers without going down the traditional university path, and these rigorous apprenticeships will offer students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to break into the legal sector and gain valuable qualifications. DWF was an early supporter of apprenticeships, having had over 20 young people undertake an apprenticeship with the business since 2012, seven of whom remain in the business today, and we remain fully committed to further developing our programme. We firmly believe in inclusive recruitment practices and are confident that by offering apprenticeships across a wide range of cities, and to students who demonstrate both practical and academic skills, we will attract and retain the widest variety of talented young people for these roles.”
Tricia Chatterton, Director of Legal Apprenticeship Programmes at BPP University Law School, added: “The paralegal apprenticeship is a gateway for firms that are looking to develop their apprenticeship offering, giving them access to young people who may have previously been excluded from a career in law. We have a long standing relationship with DWF, having worked as its exclusive graduate training provider for nearly two years. The new paralegal apprenticeship will complement DWF’s current training scheme, and apprentices will receive the same high quality training needed to thrive at the firm. With BPP University’s experience of training and educating lawyers, and working with businesses across a range of sectors, we can create an apprenticeship programme that is suited to a firm’s specific requirements, ensuring that their future workforce has the vital skills and academic knowledge needed to succeed.”
DWF is also creating opportunities for apprentices to work across the firm’s Central Services teams, which will also be delivered through the BPP Professional Apprentices programme.