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law firm helps Government shape new era for legal apprenticeships

9 February 2014

Browne Jacobson has been spearheading a Government initiative to help re-shape national apprenticeship standards in law making it easier for young people to carve out a successful career in the legal profession after leaving school.

Specialists at Browne Jacobson have been working with officials from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Department of Education, alongside a number of UK law firms and in house teams, on the Trailblazers Apprenticeship in Law initiative.

The newly approved Trailblazer standards, which have been developed in partnership with bodies such as ILEX Professional Standards Limited, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and the Law Society, outline the competences that apprentices much be able to undertake as part of their route to qualification as a solicitor, chartered legal executive or paralegal. The new Apprenticeship standards will be launched in 2015.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: "Im delighted that the legal trailblazer initiative has developed new apprenticeship standards for Solicitor, Chartered Legal Executive and Paralegal roles.

"Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and law trailblazers are leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow."

Legal Services Manager Sally Swift, who is leading the project on behalf of Browne Jacobson, added:

"The new standards are a game changer and fantastic news for those young people who want to carve out a career in the legal profession but do not wish to take the traditional route through university. Over time they will change the landscape to qualification and training contracts for all law firms and as a firm we are delighted to have played a significant role in their development."

Browne Jacobson launched its legal apprenticeship scheme in 2012 and currently has 12 apprentices in its Technical Claims and Clinical Negligence teams providing a range of business support functions. The firm recently announced that it was extending its apprentice contracts until September 2016 and investing over £37,000 by enrolling all its current apprentices on the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services, delivered in partnership with CILEx Law School, the wholly owned college of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

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