Law and legal studies

Skilled legal professionals will always be in demand to facilitate court cases, represent clients and provide legal administrative and research services in the UK and all over the world.
Rumaysah Khan – Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship, Eversheds Sutherland

What’s an apprenticeship in law and legal studies?

Law is one of the oldest academic fields in the world. A law and legal studies apprenticeship enables you to begin a highly regarded, intellectually challenging career that offers wide opportunity, financial stability and the power to make a difference.

There are many possible future career paths with a qualification in this industry. Whether you want to work as a legal professional, solicitor, barrister, judge or expand into academia, commerce or politics, an apprenticeship gives you the foundation for a flexible, well-respected and successful career.

Caira Baker – Level 6 Solicitor Apprenticeship, Capsticks

"Law as a sector is fast-paced and complicated with changes happening all the time so you do need to be driven to come into it. It’s important to be good at researching and questioning and challenging ideas as they’re skills that you’ll use every day with every case you’re involved in. No one in my family has ever been to university or worked in law, and so it was always a big unknown having this goal.”

Catherine Knight – Emerging Talent Manager, Eversheds Sutherland

“Although law is an academic profession, we’re not looking for apprentices with technical legal knowledge already as that will come later. What we’re looking for are young people who are bright, determined and have the key strengths that we know will make a successful lawyer.”

Facts and stats

Average salary

The average salary in the law and legal studies sector is £32,5621.

Apprenticeship growth
In 2020, the number of solicitor apprenticeships on offer jumped by 40% in a single year2.
Employers
Well known employers in law include KPMG and Deloitte, as well as prestigious ‘magic circle’ firms like Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance.
Employment
There are over 150,000 practising solicitors in the UK3.
Core skills
Some of the core skills needed in the field are researching and analysing information, attention to detail, communication and problem-solving. 
Types of law
You'll find the highest salaries in areas such as commercial and corporate law, while family and personal injury law are less likely to draw big-figure salaries.

Who would suit an apprenticeship in law?

More firms are offering law apprenticeship opportunities as an alternative to the traditional university study. Apprenticeships are valued for their practical experience and combine hands-on experience with academic study. Different apprenticeship levels are available, and it’s possible to progress from one apprenticeship onto the next. For example, following a paralegal apprenticeship, you could progress onto the chartered legal executive or solicitor apprenticeship.

As an apprentice, you’ll work on a variety of tasks such as research, client interaction, document drafting and data services. You’ll develop your skills, commercial awareness and legal knowledge in the different areas of the law. As your experience deepens, you’ll be involved in more complex tasks, perhaps researching cases, interviewing and advising clients, undertaking spoken and written recommendations and negotiating solutions.

Many firms of varying sizes offer law and legal apprenticeships. Some well-known employers include Allen & Overy, KPMG, Dentons, as well as local law firms. 

An apprenticeship in law would be a good choice if you’re looking for a challenging, yet fulfilling, career which opens doors into a multitude of possible industries. Equally, if you have a keen interest in social, environmental, human rights or other important issues, an apprenticeship in law and legal services might be the right choice for you.

Rumaysah Khan – Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship, Eversheds Sutherland

“I turned down a place at the University of Oxford to do my apprenticeship instead as I wanted to fast-track into the profession. At the end of my six years, I’ll be a qualified lawyer, with a job and a lot of experience behind me. This route just makes more sense to me.”

Discover employers offering apprenticeships

Like the sound of an apprenticeship but not sure where to start looking? Get to know leading brands and the range of apprenticeships they offer.

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Pros
  • It doesn’t take any longer to qualify than if you choose the university route.
  • You have a significant amount of work experience by the time you qualify.
  • You get to interact with clients and see the impact of your work.
Cons
  • It’s a competitive industry with more candidates than roles.
  • It’s a fast-paced, busy industry and can often come with long working hours.
  • Working and studying at the same time can be challenging.

Why choose an apprenticeship in law and legal studies?

Legal apprenticeships have been on the rise recently and are now highly regarded by employers, as they recognise and value the substantial practical experience that apprentices have to offer.

I’d never heard of apprenticeships in law so I’m glad I came across it!

Caira Baker, Apprentice at Capsticks

Depending on the size of the firm, apprentices are hired as part of a team of other apprentices, or matched with graduate trainees, senior paralegals or supervisors and mentors. Firms often offer training sessions and a rotation through different departments to ensure that you gain a range of experience and ongoing support during your time as an apprentice.

A law apprenticeship enables you to develop new skills and critical knowledge from the very start of your career through real-life experience. This practical exposure is an invaluable way to develop client relationships, build a contact network and grow your relationship with your sponsoring law firm.

At qualification point, our apprentices already have six years’ experience and that shines through in many ways.

Catherine Knight, Employer at Eversheds

Industry top tips

Watch our top tips on how to get into law from Rumaysah, an apprentice at Eversheds Sutherland.

How do you start an apprenticeship in law and legal studies?