With a theme of ‘Skills for Life’, National Apprenticeship Week 2024 celebrates everyone who is passionate about the value, benefits, and opportunities that an apprenticeship can offer.
Apprenticeships play a vital role in helping to attract and nurture local talent, and those who are committed to a business for many years after completing the scheme. For many, it opens a new route into business, bringing a more diverse pool of talented individuals capable of playing a pivotal role in the growth of an organisation.
Being able to develop those who choose to follow the apprenticeship pathway is hugely rewarding, and a great way to train and learn on the job. Working in a fast-paced environment can be challenging, but it creates greater reward and means that the calibre of candidates in the scheme is second to none.
As an increasingly viable route into law and other services within the legal sector, apprenticeships are an area of growth for Stephens Scown.
Stephens Scown Apprentices
Apprentices at Stephens Scown are supported by their direct teams and supervisors. A wider training team, support from HR, and the apprenticeship training provider which includes coaching, helps ensure apprentices get the best possible outcome and feel supported and guided through their training journey.
They provide an increasingly viable route into not only law, but other support services within the legal sector, and an important pipeline of talent for the Firm. The combination of work and study are an important initiative that helps to widen access and remove financial barriers that are commonly associated with higher education.
There is an array of options for apprentices at Stephens Scown. This ranges from the Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship which takes up to two years to complete, and which covers modules such as introduction to law and practice, legal research, and client care skills, right up to level 7 Solicitor Apprentices which takes approximately six and a half years to complete and combines the SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Exam) Qualification.
Someone who is undertaking the Level 3 Paralegal apprenticeship is Jodie Giller in our Family Children team, who said: “I have found the paralegal apprenticeship to be a brilliant alternative route into law because I have had the opportunity to take my learning from the course and put it into practice here at Stephens Scown.
“As the apprenticeship is so practical, it has enabled me to understand exactly how to provide client care, along with the great support I have been lucky to receive from the team.”
On completion, apprentices may transition to CPQ Foundation stage (with possible exemptions), progress on to the Solicitor Apprenticeship (SA), or choose to start their career as a paralegal.
The SA route is a six-year, Level 7 programme aimed at students who are post A-level, at paralegals, and at chartered legal executives. Covering all the content of a law degree, it enables apprentices to gain a law degree and an optional LLM (Masters). Once completed, and when the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is passed, apprentices will qualify as a solicitor.
Taking the non-grad solicitor apprenticeship route, Lexie Williams said, “The solicitor apprenticeship programme synthesises the academic and practical aspects of the law while providing numerous opportunities to put the law into practice. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to study and work concurrently and believe that by the time I qualify, due to the vast experience I will have obtained, I will be able to start life as a day one solicitor with confidence.”
On the same pathway, Kia Pearson said, “Being able to work was always a priority for me, so being able to undertake my legal studies at the same time has been a game changer. The solicitor apprenticeship is a fantastic route into law which allows you the opportunity to obtain your LLB and undertake the SQE all whilst gaining real world legal experience. Working with experienced legal professionals whilst you study is incredibly valuable and prepares you for the practicalities of being a solicitor, such as client care and billing, so it’s great to see that Stephens Scown supports the solicitor apprenticeship route.
“It provides accessible opportunities for entry into law. Whether the traditional university route is not an option for you, you have been working as a paralegal or legal secretary and want to progress, or you simply want to be earning whilst you learn, I couldn’t recommend the solicitor apprenticeship enough!”
Another non-grad solicitor apprentice, Lowenna Spears added, “Having the opportunity to relate what I am learning during the off-the-job session and through training in the workplace works great for me. I can combine real work with training and study, and I can put what I learn straight into practice. It is a good way to learn and earn at the same time.”
Rosenwyn Davidson, who is also undertaking a non-grad solicitor apprenticeship, said that, “The apprenticeship provides me with the chance to gain practical experience that I can apply to the theoretical knowledge I have acquired in my studies. It is also a more accessible and cost-effective route into the legal profession compared to the traditional pathways.”
Working through the graduate solicitor apprenticeship, Tegan Forwood spoke about how, “The apprenticeship route meant that becoming a solicitor was much more accessible to me and enabled me to progress my career whilst continuing to work at Stephens Scown. I have also received the support of my colleagues and supervisors throughout the apprenticeship and have the benefit of seeing what I learn during my study days on the course being put into practice.”
A Level 4 Conveyancing Technician, Megan Campbell said, “My course is going really well. The course provider is good and provides all the information that I need. Rachael Smith has been so helpful and always answers my questions straight away. I have nearly finished Level 4 where I will be signed off as a Licensing Technician, and then shall hopefully be moving onto Level 6 to become a Licenced Conveyancer.”
Jess Lewis is on the Level 6 CILEX Chartered Executive track, and talking about her experience said, “My apprenticeship enables me to gain my legal qualification whilst still earning an income. That is one of the main reasons I chose this route, given I have a mortgage to pay! But it’s also meant that I’ve had ample opportunity to hone my legal knowledge and skills working alongside seasoned and specialist professionals providing invaluable mentorship. I think the collaborative nature of the Firm aids the supportive learning environment – we all seem to help each other develop and improve in different ways.”
Non-legal apprenticeships in our Business Support teams covers areas such as business administration and finance apprenticeships.
Rachael Smith, our Graduate Recruitment and Apprenticeships Officer says: “I am proud to work alongside such a motivated and passionate group of apprentices. They are paving the way for routes into law not only at Stephens Scown, but for our region and industry. Stephens Scown supports the different qualification opportunities available to individuals, and it’s a great thing to be part of.”
As for training lead Thea Bennun, Partner in the Family team, she said, “At Stephens Scown we promote a wide variety of routes to qualification into law and support a number of central services apprenticeships. As the remit of routes to qualification change, we are being agile in moving with that and currently enjoy seeing a number of our employees qualify following various apprenticeships.
“The Firm works closely with all our apprentices, and we understand the pressure that learning on the job whilst studying brings. The many benefits of apprenticeships can be seen both for us as an employer and for those that work with us. The idea of studying whilst working brings with it an increased level of experience and loyalty from those individuals involved.”
If you would like to learn more about our apprenticeships, routes to law, and graduate opportunities, please get in touch with Rachael Smith, Graduate Recruitment & Apprenticeships Officer, on 01392 210700 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.