New apprenticeship standards for the legal profession announced

The Government has today approved new standards, which will allow apprentices to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive, solicitor or paralegal. The standards meet the requirements specified by ILEX Professional Standards Limited (IPS) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for qualification as a Chartered Legal Executive or Solicitor.

The existing CILEx-accredited Apprenticeships in Legal Services will continue in their current form alongside the new legal Trailblazer schemes until all apprenticeships transition to Trailblazer formats in 2017.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department of Education, and a number of UK law firms and in-house teams, have spearheaded the new ‘Trailiblazers Apprenticeship in Law’ initiative that will shape the apprenticeship route into law from 2017. The initiative is an employer-led group designing new Apprenticeship Standards for occupations in the legal sector. This group is one of a number of different sectors which are participating in this apprenticeship initiative, supported by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Education.

Gun Judge, HR specialist at Addleshaw Goddard, has chaired a committee of employers, professional associations and regulators from across the legal profession, including the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, to define new Apprenticeship Standards for occupations in the legal sector.

Working alongside the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and the Law Society, the Trailblazers will now consult on the second phase of development to create a curriculum and assessment process that complies with existing SRA and IPS regulations for all solicitors and Chartered Legal Executives, before the new Apprenticeship standards are launched next year.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “I’m delighted that the legal trailblazer initiative has developed new apprenticeship standards for Solicitor, Chartered Legal Executive and Paralegal roles. Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and law trailblazers are leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow.”

CILEx Law School was at the forefront of the development of the current Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship and Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services and we have participated in the consultations leading to the new standards.

We look forward to working with our clients on the delivery of these new apprenticeships into the legal sector in due course. If you would like to discuss how your organisation could benefit from employing legal apprentices under the current schemes, please call  Sheena Edwards on 01234 844316.