Law firm and consultancy sign up to support apprenticeship campaign

Mar 5, 2023 | Ladder News, News

From left: Sahnia Shouan and Hollie Ingram from Browne Jacobson, Joanna Hughes from Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships, Bridget Tatham from Browne Jacobson, Shazadi Stinton from Moneysupermarket, Justine Johnson from Ladder for Greater Birmingham and Alice Kinder from Bexley Beaumont
Browne Jacobson and Joanna Hughes are helping Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative to recruit and train solicitor apprentices

Law firm Browne Jacobson has become the latest business to join a long-running campaign to create new apprenticeships across Birmingham and Solihull.

The practice, whose city office is based at 103 Colmore Row, is now an employer partner of the Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative which was launched nearly five years ago.

Browne Jacobson is the first law firm to become an official employer partner of the Ladder for Greater Birmingham, while London-based Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships, which works with law firms to set up their apprenticeship schemes, has also joined the campaign.

The pair joins a host of other businesses and organisations which have in the past signed up to support the Ladder including HS2, Sunbelt Rentals and Aston University.

Apprenticeships offer an alternative route to full qualification as a solicitor and are becoming increasingly popular as a way of earning while you learn and avoiding huge university bills and years of potential debt.

Law interest

They can be employed by both private practice law firms and as part of in-house legal teams.

Data released by university admission service UCAS suggests that, of the 53,000 students interested in studying law at university or college, 38 per cent are also interested in apprenticeships, equating to around 20,000 potential solicitor apprentices for the next academic year.

Claire Stripp, head of talent and knowledge at Browne Jacobson and the firm’s apprenticeship lead, said: “Solicitor apprentices bring an energy and ethos to the profession which I think has been missing for a while and they embed the legal academic learning in their practical experience which enables them to be so valuable to colleagues and clients.”

Sahnia Shouan, an apprentice solicitor at the firm, added: “I was always keen to work in law so the apprenticeship was the ideal route for me as it allows you to study and become a solicitor in six years while earning a wage.

“The ability to apply the theory of law to my work in practice has been invaluable in building my confidence in my legal career. The opportunities to network and build relationships over a six-year period is also a fantastic element of the solicitor apprenticeship.”

Wide opportunities

This latest news for the Ladder follows swiftly on the heels of the recent launch of its new ‘have-a-go’ skills academy in Birmingham city centre and a fourth round of funding from Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP to support the recruitment of apprentices across the two areas.

Ladder for Greater Birmingham manager Justine Johnson said: “The Ladder recognises the need for young people to be given access to a wide range of opportunities. I’m so pleased our collaboration will help to raise awareness not only to young people but also their parents and employers.

“There’s much to like about doing a solicitor degree apprenticeship – no tuition fees, earning money, have work experience and come out ahead of those who have left university doing a traditional degree.”

Joanna Hughes, founder of Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships, added: “Like all apprenticeships, these involve on-the-job training and at least 20 per cent off-the-job based learning. Solicitor apprentices complete their apprenticeships with a degree and the professional exams just like traditional trainees.

“Solicitor apprenticeships are actually only one of a number of different types of legal apprenticeships but degree-level is becoming more common in the professions.”

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