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Allen & Overy launches new solicitor apprenticeship

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Partridge James
James Partridge

Partner

London

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Joanna Hughes

HR Project & Alumni Manager

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23 June 2021

Allen & Overy is launching a new apprenticeship programme for school leavers that leads to qualification as a solicitor in the UK.

The firm will recruit an initial cohort of six solicitor apprentices in the first year who will be awarded an LLB (Hons) Law and Legal Practice by BPP University and a Solicitor Level 7 Apprenticeship on completion as well as becoming a qualified solicitor once they pass the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Legal apprenticeships offer an alternative route into the legal profession and are key to law firms like A&O being open and accessible.

The six year apprenticeship programme will start in September 2022, with engagement in a broad range of schools across England starting in autumn 2021. The programme is open to all who are completing their A-levels in 2022, with the firm hoping to attract a socio-economically diverse pool of high-achieving pupils.

In addition to time in A&O’s legal practice groups, apprentices will also have the opportunity to work in Fuse, the firm’s tech innovation hub, and the Markets Innovation Group, Legal Tech, eDiscovery and Project Management teams.

A&O is launching the solicitor apprenticeship as part of its commitment to supporting an All In culture that drives diversity and inclusion. For over a decade A&O has been committed to social mobility, with its award-winning Smart Start work experience programme and A&O Accelerate, in addition to working with Aspiring Solicitors, Causeway Education, IntoUniversity, Pathway CTM, Rare Recruitment and upReach among others.

As part of its Lawyer of the Future framework, in 2018 A&O became the first major firm to introduce online interactive situational judgement tests and scenario-based interviews. These were developed using real-life examples that trainees may encounter to assess candidates’ decision-making skills and their potential, thereby helping to remove bias by allowing all candidates to demonstrate how they think in certain scenarios – rather than focusing on CVs and past experiences, which can favour those who have had access to broader opportunities. Assessments for solicitor apprentices will be aligned to the Lawyer of the Future framework and adapted in order to take into account the experience level of this group.

James Partridge, graduate recruitment partner and training principal, said: “I am so excited to be able to launch this important alternative route to becoming a solicitor. At A&O we strive to be open, accessible and inclusive and we understand that we have a key role to play in creating and offering opportunities in the legal profession. This apprenticeship programme is about doing just that. I look forward to welcoming our first apprentices and supporting them on their journey to a career in law.”

At A&O we strive to be open, accessible and inclusive and we understand that we have a key role to play in creating and offering opportunities in the legal profession.

James Partridge, graduate recruitment partner

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