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Solicitor General looks in at Addleshaw Goddard law firm offering degrees without university

PUBLISHED: 14:26 13 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:28 13 March 2015

Solicitor General Robert Buckland meets apprentices Jamie-Lee Harris and Marianne O’Reilly at Addleshaw Goddard law firm

Solicitor General Robert Buckland meets apprentices Jamie-Lee Harris and Marianne O'Reilly at Addleshaw Goddard law firm

Atterney General's Office

Solicitor General Robert Buckland was on tour in National Apprenticeships Week when he visited the Addleshaw Goddard law firm, one of the first in the country offering solicitors' qualifications up to degree level as an alternative to university.

The firm, based in the City of London and in Manchester and Leeds, runs a scheme where students get hands-on experience working on real legal cases, rather than being tucked away on campus.

The scheme also opens the doors to a more diverse talent stream entering the profession.

“They can qualify as solicitors with the opportunity to learn the law in a professional environment without ever setting foot in a university,” the Solicitor General said.

“Higher apprenticeships offer a real alternative to university, where students get the chance to work on live cases from beginning to end—and they get paid to learn.”

He met two of the law apprentices at Addleshaw Goddard’s, Jamie-Lee Harris and Marianne O’Reilly.

Jamie-Lee said: “Never did I think just a year into my law career that I would be working on one of the largest cases in the commercial court.

“I have been given the chance to complete legal tasks which has really prepared me for a career in law.”

The scheme is run by Trailblazers Apprenticeships In Law, a group that includes employers, professional associations and regulators from across the legal profession to define new apprenticeship standards for occupations in the legal sector.

Addleshaw Goddard currently has eight apprentices who started in 2013 and is looking to hire more for this coming September, suitable for first-year A-level students.

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