Six-year programme starts in September from firm’s Manchester office

DLA Piper has launched a six-year apprenticeship programme that leads to qualification as a solicitor.

The global firm is recruiting apprentices to join its new programme which commences in September 2021 from the Manchester office.

The apprenticeship offers school-leavers the opportunity to earn whilst working and studying towards a law degree and the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). DLA Piper is yet to publicly reveal details of its SQE training partner.

The apprenticeship will comprise four days of on the job work experience with one day allocated to study each week. Rookies will rotate for six and 12 months at a time through DLA’s practice groups and sectors, and as they progress, there will be client and international secondment opportunities, according to the firm. Upon completion, they will qualify as solicitors with a level 7 degree apprenticeship.

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It’s worth noting the solicitor apprenticeship runs parallel to DLA’s existing training contract scheme, which is aimed at graduates.

A number of law firms have established solicitor apprenticeships for school-leavers, including Addleshaw Goddard, Charles Russell Speechlys and Eversheds Sutherland, whilst others have tweaked their graduate apprenticeship schemes to accommodate the new SQE.

The SQE, a two-part national assessment to be set and examined centrally, comes into force on 1 September 2021.