Are legal apprentices employed?
Yes, all apprentices are employed, usually for 30 or more hours per week, in most cases directly by a law firm or other legal sector employer. In all cases though, the apprentice is paid a salary from the outset. Whilst the legal minimum wage for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their Apprenticeship is lower than the main national minimum wage, most legal sector employers pay more than the minimum. Many apprentices are employed on a permanent contract from day one but you may also be employed on a fixed term contract for the duration of your Apprenticeship. However, many apprentices who initially start on a fixed term contract go on to become permanent employees.
Am I eligible for funding support for an Apprenticeship?
People of all ages and educational backgrounds can become apprentices but there are some restrictions, the most important of which are as follows:
- The employer and the training provider must ascertain that the apprenticeship will allow the individual to gain substantive new skills. The training therefore needs to be materially different from any prior qualification or previous apprenticeship.
- The apprentice must be employed, usually for 30+ hours a week, and work more than 50% of their time in England. If you don’t yet have a job, take a look at our apprenticeship vacancies.
- The period of teaching and learning must be at least 12 months and, during this time, apprentices are expected to spend at least 20% of their time in “off the job” training.
I am already working in a law firm. Can I do a legal apprenticeship?
Provided the job matches the apprenticeship, anyone can become an apprentice with the agreement of their employer. However, Government funding support is only available if you are eligible (see above).
How long does a legal apprenticeship last?
The length of the apprenticeship depends on you and your employer but can never be less than a year. In most cases, the paralegal and conveyancing technician apprenticeships take two years. Higher level apprenticeships take longer – four years or more in some cases.
What progression is available after I have completed my Paralegal Apprenticeship?
The progression routes after the paralegal apprenticeship are varied and will depend on your employer. They can include:
- Progression to the Chartered Legal Executive or Solicitor apprenticeship
- Continuing to study by taking a part time degree course.
- Progressing within your organisation to a more responsible position
How much work will I have to do?
About 20% of your time at work will be spent on your studies (this may include training delivered by your employer). Most apprentices also do some work in the evenings or at the weekend.