North-West law firm first to offer pioneering articled apprentice scheme

A leading North West law firm is the first in England and Wales to offer a legal apprenticeship programme aimed at opening up the profession to a greater number of talented candidates.

Hillyer McKeown was the first firm to adopt the new “Articled Apprenticeship” scheme and has now been joined by two other firms in the region, Rowlinsons and Gamlins Law.

The firms are working closely with The University of Law (ULaw), which has developed the programme to provide an alternative route to qualification as a solicitor for those who want to earn while they learn.

Successful candidates will be employed by the firms throughout the six-year apprenticeship, while studying ULaw’s part-time LLB course in Chester, a qualifying law degree approved by the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales.

Carol Draycott, Centre Director at ULaw in Chester, said: “Hillyer McKeown, Rowlinsons and Gamlins Law are our first adopters of the Articled Apprenticeship programme and they are now ready to hear from potential candidates.

“We expect the scheme to appeal to school leavers who do not wish to rack up student debt while at university, but also to people considering a change of career who can make the transition while still earning a salary.

“The big issue in the legal profession is employability because there is such strong competition to secure training contracts with firms. This programme provides successful candidates with a period of recognised training as well as study.

“From day one, candidates have the certainty of employment with one of the leading law firms in the North West and North Wales.

“Hillyer McKeown and the other firms to adopt the scheme believe in the importance in investing in the training of their staff. They want to be seen as good employers who are looking for motivated people passionate about joining the legal profession.”

Richard Burnett, a Partner with Hillyer McKeown, said:

“We are delighted to be the first law firm in the country to adopt the Articled Apprenticeship programme. We are a firm with big plans and the opportunity to grow our own talent is an exciting one.

“The traditional full-time university route is not for everyone and this pioneering scheme offers a fantastic alternative route to becoming a solicitor.”

The job descriptions are available on the ULaw website

Candidate applications, including a CV and covering letter, should be emailed with the candidate’s preferred law firm in the subject area of the email.