Getting an apprenticeship with a law firm can seem challenging but we will do our very best to help and there is plenty you can do to maximise your chances. Some key points to remember first:
- An apprenticeship is not a course; it is a real, paid job with training. Unlike a college course where terms dates are fixed, the start date depends on individual employer's needs - we enrol apprentices almost every day of the year.
- We work with many law firms and so can help you find a suitable job role, however there is no guarantee.
- Apprenticeships in popular sectors such as law and accountancy are over-subscribed, making competition fierce.
- All law firms are looking for good GCSEs (at least 5 A* to Cs) and many look for good A levels as well.
- Think about a backup plan if you are not successful. This can make you feel less stressed and actually help you during the application process.
As with all job hunting, good planning is essential and can greatly increase your chances of success. Once you have done your research on the legal sector and have decided first, that it's for you and, second, what kind of law firm you want to work for, you need to find some potential vacancies. Your first step is to think about the kind of role that will suit you at the outset and then to find a law firm that might have a vacancy...
Identifying the right role for you
It is far better applying for ten vacancies at the right level than one hundred at the wrong level. Although your aim might be to become a solicitor or Chartered Legal Executive, most employers recruit first into administration and paralegal roles. If you do well, you may have the opportunity to progress further.
For most GCSE and A level leavers, the work that you will be carrying out in year one is likely to focus on administrative support to more senior staff and solicitors. This may include some legal work such as research and work on case files but you probably won't be managing cases or advising clients.
Registering and applying for vacancies
- Register on the Government’s “Find an Apprenticeship” website. We advertise legal apprenticeship vacancies that we are handling on “Find and Apprenticeship” and on the vacancies page of our website.
- Register your interest in apprenticeships with Damar here [link].
- Follow @DamarTraining on Twitter for news on legal apprenticeships.
- "Like" Damar Training on Facebook to receive updates concerning legal apprenticeships, particularly vacancies.
- Set up a Google Alert for “legal apprenticeships” to get an email update when there is news on the Web.
- Look at the other websites on our Useful Links page - some advertise legal apprenticeship vacancies.
Increasing your chances
With 10 or more applicants chasing every vacancy, the basics won't be enough to get many prospective apprentices a place. Here's how to increase your chances:
- Use your school or college. Ask whether they work with or know any firms of solicitors. Are any of the governors solicitors? If your school/college has a law or careers department start here.
- Research firms of solicitors near you. Find out who is in charge of recruiting trainee solicitors (it’s usually on their website). Do not forget the smaller solicitors’ firms and the legal department at your local council. Although they may have fewer vacancies there is also likely to be less competition.
- You can find law firms near you by searching the Law Society’s database.
- Ask friends and family whether they know any solicitors and see if you can get an introduction to them.
- You never know who has a vacancy and is yet to fully advertise it; you have nothing to lose by asking!
If you find a law firm that is interested in apprenticeships call the recruitment team at Damar on 0161 480 8171. We can explain to the firm how it works, any costs involved for the firm and can usually address any concerns they may have.