Students vote Bond Dickinson lawfirm onto list of top 100 UK best employers

Bond Dickinson's apprentice Jack Bidgood

Bond Dickinson's apprentice Jack Bidgood - Credit: Bond Dickinson

A national law firm with offices near Tower Bridge has been voted onto the list of the UK’s 100 most popular employers for school-leavers and graduates.

Bond Dickinson is the highest ranking law firm on the list of companies drawn up by the Berlin-based Trendence market research organisation, placed at 75th.

The firm has been active recruiting potential trainees from further education colleges and among school-leavers as an alternative to university graduates with its Legal Apprenticeships scheme.

“The scheme has enabled me to develop professionally,” one trainee, final-year apprentice Jack Bidgood, explained.

“I have the knowledge and opportunity to put what I’m learning into practice, through study and job experience.”

Bond Dickinson has an annual intake of apprentices and runs work experience placements at its London offices at More London, off Tooley Street near HMS Belfast, and in Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, Leeds and Newcastle.

Its teams of lawyers act for clients ranging from top businesses to government organisations, as well as wealthy individuals.

Managing partner Jonathan Blair said: “We have a commitment to school-leavers with the legal apprenticeship schemes that were first piloted in our Onshore mentoring programmes, which include work experience placements from local schools, and are involved in activities in social mobility programmes such as Pathways to Law.”

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The firm gives trainees a structured programme that includes law and legal practice, leading to competence to handle client files, through paid, on-the-job training.

It looks for bright school-leavers between 16 and 19 with an interest in a career in the law, with a minimum of 3 Bs at A Level. The selection process involves paper-based applications, followed by a three-day work placement and an interview.

Its Plymouth office recruited three Advanced Level-3 apprentices in 2014 and another three in 2015.

The firm also appointed a Level-2 Legal Administration apprentice last year, a qualification aimed at GCSE school-leavers which could lead to the Advanced Apprenticeship.

The Trendence List is the country’s first employer-ranking survey aimed at school pupils and further education college students, naming the most popular employers chosen by 9,000 teenagers aged 14 to 18.