The Solicitor Apprenticeship is a 6 year level 7 programme, which combines practical work-based learning with formal study towards an LLB (Hons) in Legal Practice at BPP University Law School (BPP). All of your tuition fees will be paid and you will earn a salary while you are training. You will gain valuable, real-life experience in a leading international legal practice, enhancing your commercial understanding and growing your confidence in a work environment. It is the ideal opportunity to benefit from an exciting new world of work and study while avoiding the costs usually associated with undertaking a degree.
- What is a Solicitor Apprenticeship?
Our Solicitor Apprenticeship programme is a 6 year level 7 programme, combining practical work-based learning with formal study towards an LLB (Hons) in Legal Practice at BPP University Law School (BPP). All of your tuition fees will be paid and you will earn a salary while you are training. You will gain valuable, real-life experience in a leading international legal practice, enhancing your commercial understanding and growing your confidence in a work environment.
- How many roles are available, where are they based, and when will they start?
We will be looking for 4 Solicitor Apprentices to join us in Bristol, 1 in Reading and 4 in London. The Solicitor Apprenticeship programme will start in September 2024.
- What is the LLB (Hons) Programme?
BPP is an independent university dedicated to business and the professions. It combines innovative study content with real-world experience and insight from expert tutors, delivering the practical skills and industry knowledge to help students to excel in the workplace. As an apprentice you will spend 20% of your time (1 day per week) studying towards the LLB (Hons) in Legal Practice. You will study by blended learning, with attendance at ‘live’ online classes and regular face-to-face support classes at a BPP learning centre. You will also have access to a Virtual Learning Environment.
- Will I qualify as a Solicitor at the end of the programme?
As you progress through your apprenticeship you will build a portfolio of the experience you have gained and the tasks you have completed in the workplace. You will spend time in Osborne Clarke’s main practice groups: Business Transactions (Corporate, Commercial); Projects, Real Estate and Finance; Litigation; and Advisory (Employment, Pensions, Incentives, Tax and Competition). The programme will be tailored to your individual needs and goals for qualification, and your responsibility will increase as appropriate throughout your training. To complete the apprenticeship and qualify as a Solicitor you will need to pass the SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Exams).
These are comprised of SQE1: Functioning Knowledge Tests and SQE2: Standardised Practical Legal Skills Assessments. BPP will provide you with guidance and assistance to help you pass these assessments.
- How will I be supported?
You will receive support and guidance from us throughout your whole apprenticeship. In each team you will have a dedicated line manager, and you will also be paired with a solicitor apprentice buddy to help you settle into life at Osborne Clarke. This is underpinned by our award-winning HR and career development programme. You will also benefit from a Student Manager and Personal Tutor at BPP. Your Student Manager is your dedicated point of contact at BPP throughout your apprenticeship, and their main role is to support you and monitor your progress in completing the requirements of the apprenticeship. Your Personal Tutor will meet with you when you attend face-to-face teaching sessions at BPP, and will assist you with compilation of your portfolio of workplace evidence and help you to identify how that evidence links to the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the solicitor apprenticeship standard.
- Do you offer any work experience?
Yes, we offer 1-day virtual work experience placements to students in years 11, 12 and 13 who are considering a career as a lawyer. Please sign up through this link.
- Can I visit the firm before I apply?
We are running information events in all of our UK offices and virtually on the following days:
13 February 2024, 12.30 – Virtual
14 February 2024, 17.30 – London
15 February 2024, 17.30 – Bristol
20 February 2024, 17.30 – Reading
Our information events allow students and their parents/carers the opportunity to find out more about our programme and meet some of our Solicitor Apprentices, Partners and supervisors. If you'd like to attend one of these sessions please sign up here.
- How much will I be paid?
The starting salary for our solicitor apprentices is:
Bristol = £23,000 p.a.
London = £27,000 p.a.
Reading = £24,300 p.a.
Your salary will increase as you progress through the programme, and in your final 2 years you will be paid the same as the trainee solicitors in your location.
- What is Osborne Clarke looking for in a Solicitor Apprentice?
As well as strong academics (ABB at A-Level, predicted or obtained) we are looking for someone with the ambition and commitment to learn and succeed on our six year Solicitor Apprenticeship programme. You will also need excellent communication skills, a good eye for detail, the ability to follow instructions and to enjoy working as part of a team.
- How do I apply?
We are currently accepting applications for our September 2024 cohort. Please only complete one application for the location that you are most interested in using the links below. The deadline for receiving applications is 8 March 2024.
If your application is successful you will be invited to attend an assessment centre on one of the following dates – please be aware that these are the only dates available, and you will be required to attend in person.
Bristol – 2 April 2024
London – 3 and 4 April 2024
Reading – 8 April 2024
- I have more questions, is there someone I can speak to?
If you have questions that you’d like to ask about the apprenticeship please email us or call us on +44 117 917 3484.
What does the recruitment process involve?
Stage 1: The application form
The first step in the process is an online application form. This is your chance to tell us about yourself and why you’d like to join Osborne Clarke.
You will need to prepare a cover letter that outlines why you think the Solicitor Apprenticeship at Osborne Clarke is right for you. You should also showcase your skills and give us some insight into your motivations. We’ll be looking out for signs that you have all the qualities that make a great Osborne Clarke lawyer, so think about how you can evidence things like the ability to listen, learn and collaborate; a passion for client service; a genuine interest in the business environment; a problem-solving approach; and – of course - the drive and motivation to succeed.
You’ll be asked about your work experience – and this doesn’t only mean legal work experience. You will have developed different personal skills and attributes no matter the job or sector you’ve worked in, and we’re interested in how you think you would apply these to becoming a successful lawyer.
We’ll ask about your academic achievements, and strongly encourage you to opt into completing the Rare Contextual Recruitment System to allow added appreciation of the context in which these have been gained. You can read more about the CRS here. There’s also space for you to explain any mitigating circumstances you’ve experienced, so please do share anything you feel to be important.
Completing a successful application will take time and a lot of research so give yourself enough space and don’t rush it.
Stage 2: Assessment Centre
If you’ve applied and have been invited to attend one of our assessment centres – congratulations! You’re through to the next round. The assessment centre consists of a few different elements including a group discussion, a partner interview and a verbal reasoning test (a test which assesses your verbal comprehension, reasoning and logic). There’s also an opportunity to network with current solicitor apprentices and hear about their experiences. All of this in combination will allow us to find out more about you, giving us insight on your commercial awareness and understanding, communication skills, ability to work in a team and your understanding of Osborne Clarke.
The more prepared you are, the calmer you’ll be – and the more you’ll enjoy and get something out of the day. So, we suggest reviewing your application submission and getting up to date on recent developments in the news. You can also prepare for the verbal reasoning test by completing a practice test here. That said, try to avoid being ‘over-prepared’ – we also want you to show your ability to think on your feet.
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself
The assessment day provides an excellent opportunity to network, ask questions and get to know Osborne Clarke and your potential colleagues. Bring your curiosity, stay open-minded and remember to enjoy it too.
Our tips for submitting a strong application
Think about the bigger picture
What makes you a great candidate, and how you might make that come across in your application form? Look beyond academia and work experience and make sure that you include information about your interests and hobbies – these are what make you an individual and will help you to stand out from the crowd. We want to get to know the person behind the application form.
We want to know what it is about Osborne Clarke that has encouraged you to apply, so do your research and use it to tailor your answers and bring your application to life.
Get the basics right
It sounds simple, but make sure that you complete all sections of the form. And use continuous prose throughout to show your writing style, tone, and fluency.
Keep it short and avoid cliché
Be succinct and use short sentences to ensure that your points are clear. Use straightforward language and avoid using buzzwords over used phrases such as ‘relish the opportunity’.
Check, check again
Attention to detail is key, so remember to double (or even triple) check your application before you submit it. And even better, get a fresh pair of eyes in the form of a friend or family member to read through your submission - they’re much more likely to spot any small mistakes.
Bristol is a thriving city and one of the most vibrant legal centres outside of London. From our Bristol office we advise national and international clients, as well as the high-growth and entrepreneurial businesses that are putting the South West on the map. Our Bristol team includes some of our key corporate, commercial and litigation Partners, as well as specialist teams in areas like pensions, tax and residential development.
Our London office is in the heart of the City – ideally situated for the top-flight clients we advise. As you’d expect there’s a lot of M&A (we’re one of the top 10 firms for this in the City), capital markets and financial institutions work. But there’s much more to our London office than that. For example, we have one of the most highly regarded Real Estate teams in the square mile, our Tech, Media and Comms team is the go-to team for cutting edge tech companies and we excel in areas like International Arbitration.
The Reading office is home to a close-knit and growing team. With its own distinct, high profile client pool, the office is known for doing City work for leading names from its Thames Valley base. There's a strong technology focus (from start-ups to Big Tech) and the team's strong links to our Silicon Valley office mean that we advise many US clients making their entry to the UK market, as well as venture capitalists and private equity investors across all sectors, including telecoms, life sciences, infrastructure and energy & utilities.