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BPP and Aspiring Solicitors champion diversity in the legal profession with new collaboration on legal apprenticeships

BPP University Law School and Aspiring Solicitors are pleased to announce a new initiative in extending support for learners entering the legal profession via the new Graduate Entry Solicitor Apprenticeship route.

The first in a new series of initiatives, BPP and Aspiring Solicitors are collaborating to raise the profile of apprenticeships within the legal sector, building upon the existing success of Aspiring Solicitors stellar work in increasing diversity in the legal profession.

Bruce Humphrey, Legal Apprenticeship Award Leader at BPP saidHistorically, legal professionals would be expected to complete a qualifying law degree and then go on to study either the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or self-fund a preparation programme for the newly introduced Solicitors Qualifying Examination. The new Graduate Entry Solicitor Apprenticeship will allow for students from non-traditional backgrounds, who perhaps were not able to fund the conventional training courses, a new route into the legal profession. Apprentices earn whilst they learn, with programme fees fully funded from the levy. This, combined with flexible part time study via an apprenticeship structure, opens up the legal profession to a much broader pool of talent.

The new Graduate Entry Solicitor Apprenticeship, which takes 30 months to complete, is targeted at law undergraduates and those who have completed a law conversion course, to develop the core skills and knowledge expected of a newly qualified solicitor, whilst also preparing candidates for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. By being delivered as an apprenticeship, it allows firms to fund the training via their Apprenticeship Levy, whilst providing a fully rounded practical learning experience for those students for whom funding the course may have traditionally been a barrier.

BPP and Aspiring Solicitors will provide additional support to learners who have joined the September 2022 and January 2023 cohort. Learners will be able to take advantage of dedicated workshops delivered by Aspiring Solicitor’s expert coaches, providing support to each of their individual needs and in areas where they may feel less confident. This will help apprentices to become more effective and valuable employees.  Soft skills that will be taught include Negotiating Skills, Influencing Skills, Practical Networking and Handling Difficult Conversations with Ease and Confidence, providing an immersive and well-rounded experience for learners.

In addition, for learners who are looking to progress or secure internal promotion, careers coaching sessions will be delivered by the team at Aspiring Solicitors.  Aspiring Solicitors is the leading UK diversity talent development platform and the new partnership with BPP will enable apprentices to develop the confidence, skills and expertise needed to fulfil their future legal career aspirations.

Jo-Anne Pugh, Dean of BPP University Law School commentedThe legal training market is undertaking the most significant transformation in its history. New routes into the profession, including legal apprenticeships and the SQE, creates a unique opportunity for us to collectively shine the spotlight on diversity and ensure that talent, intellect, and personality reign supreme over background, wealth or demographic so we can collectively create a diverse and inclusive legal profession of the future. We’re really pleased that we can make a difference to our learners via our ongoing partnership with Aspiring Solicitors”

Chris White, Founder of Aspiring Solicitors commented “Aspiring Solicitors are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and we are delighted to expand this commitment to a new group of Graduate Entry Solicitor Apprentices with BPP.  Legal apprenticeships will play and increasingly important role in facilitating positive progress in the profession and will provide opportunities to candidates who might not otherwise pursue a legal career.   This is the start of a very promising collaboration and one that we look forward to developing further in the future.”

BPP and AS together will continue to raise awareness of the new routes into the profession ahead of 2023/24 cohort with confidence that it provides learners an equal and fair opportunity to succeed in the legal profession.

For more information visit www.bpp.com/law

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