First apprentices join Kennedys

International law firm Kennedys has appointed its first group of ten legal apprentices, all of whom start work later this month at the firm’s offices across England. The programme, thought to be the largest recognised legal apprenticeship programme in the country, is being run in partnership with specialist legal apprenticeship provider Damar Training and CILEx Law School (CILEx Law School).

Most of the apprentices completed their A levels earlier this summer and all have decided to follow a vocational route into the profession, avoiding the cost of university. The partnership between Kennedys, Damar and CILEx Law School is further evidence of how progressive law firms are broadening their approach to legal recruitment, recognising that some of the best potential lawyers of the future can be recruited on leaving school.

Emma Phipps, HR Advisor from Kennedys said: “Kennedys are committed to improving access to the profession and are delighted to be working with Damar Training and CILEx Law School to offer a Legal Apprenticeship pathway. We had an overwhelming response from applicants and have appointed ten top class A Level leavers into our ranks. We already employ many high achieving individuals who have chosen to enter the law using an alternative route and hope that the Legal Apprenticeship scheme will further reinforce Kennedys commitment to attracting a diverse range of talented lawyers.”

18 year old Christopher Helme, from Glossop in Derbyshire, is an apprentice at Kennedys’ Sheffield office. He said:

“I was attracted to Kennedys because they are a top law firm offering a real alternative to the university route which, after the increase in tuition fees, could result in a debt of £50,000 or more. With an apprenticeship I have the opportunity to acquire practical skills and real work experience alongside qualifications. I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity.”

Jonathan Bourne from Damar commented: “Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for firms to attract high quality applicants right out of school and shape them to their firm’s ethos. We are delighted to be supporting Kennedys with both the recruitment and training of their first group of apprentices. This programme is a great example of how legal apprenticeships can be used as part of an exciting new route to a career in law.”

Jenny Pelling from CILEx Law School said “It’s yet more evidence of the appetite within the legal services’ market for apprenticeships and vocational learning. Kennedys’ investment in apprentices is very timely, coming just after the Legal Education and Training Review’s recent discussion paper comments about blending vocational training with work-based learning.”

The apprentices are employed as legal administrators and will complete an intermediate apprenticeship in legal administration in their first year. The apprenticeship includes a blend of workplace-based training and assessment designed to develop knowledge and understanding of the legal environment as well as administrative skills. After year one there are expected to be opportunities to progress to the more specialist higher level legal apprenticeships currently in development.

To find out how your firm can benefit from apprenticeship funding contact Jenny Pelling, Business Director at CILEx Law School on 01234 844326.