In a move which will in some ways return things to how they used to be, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education has announced that the apprenticeship standards for the Trailblazers in Law initiative have been approved.
Under the new scheme, which is designed to enable more flexible routes to the profession, apprentices will be able to qualify as a solicitor, chartered legal executive, or paralegal through workplace-based training.
Solicitors of a certain age will recall that in the past it was open to those wishing to qualify to undertake a longer five year term of “articles” (the pre-cursor of the training contract) and qualify as a solicitor without the need for a law degree. This announcement has in some ways recreated that flexibility.
The SRA, ILEX Professional Standards Limited (IPS), and the Law Society have worked closely over the past year with a committee of employers from across the legal profession to agree the new set of standards, which meet the requirements specified by the SRA and IPS for qualification as a Solicitor or Legal Executive.
Further details of the Trailblazer initiative can be found on the gov.uk web site