Damar Training launches technology partnership with BARBRI for solicitor apprenticeships

Legal apprenticeships specialist Damar Training is delighted to announce a technology partnership with leading global legal education provider BARBRI. This exciting development will embed BARBRI’s market leading learning technology in solicitor apprenticeship programmes delivered by Damar.

The “Damar powered by BARBRI” model combines Damar’s 40+ years’ experience in apprenticeships with proven learning materials and technology to offer the first solicitor apprenticeship that is built “from the ground up” for the solicitors’ qualifying exam (SQE).

Apprentices will receive expert 1:1 and group coaching and use BARBRI’s learning management technology platform, which combines artificial intelligence with real-world exam experience to produce a learning programme uniquely tailored to each apprentice and which can flex, during the course, to develop identified strengths and address weaknesses.

The integration of best-in-class learning technology means that programmes can be delivered efficiently, with apprentices able to concentrate on their knowledge gaps and free up more time to contextualise learning at work and put new skills into practice.

The first cohort of solicitor apprentices will start in April and come from a range of backgrounds. All are working in legal roles in private practice or in-house and already have a law degree, graduate diploma in law (GDL) or equivalent. Over the following eighteen months they will follow carefully structured and rigorous programmes with a weekly schedule of activity that flexes to reflect their prior learning and experience.

Future cohorts start in Autumn 2023, including a longer, three-year programme designed specifically for non-law graduates and those currently working in paralegal or legal technician roles. This will, for the first time, open up a shorter-form solicitor apprenticeship for former paralegal apprentices and others, including part-qualified Chartered Legal Executives, conveyancing and probate technicians who, with their employers’ support, would like to train as solicitors. This development significantly widens access to solicitor apprenticeships. It also reduces risk for apprentices and employers by allowing the solicitor apprenticeship “journey” to be divided into manageable stages for school and college leavers: a two-year paralegal apprenticeship followed by a three-year solicitor apprenticeship.

Jonathan Bourne, Managing Director of Damar Training commented:

“Improving the quality of vocational routes into the Law and helping employers to attract, develop and retain great future lawyers is at the heart of what we do. Eleven years ago, we brought together the consortium that developed the first ever legal apprenticeship. We are excited, working with BARBRI, to be continuing to lead the way.”

Lucie Allen, BARBRI Global Managing Director added:

“Given the opportunities they present, it is no surprise that solicitor apprenticeships are being wholeheartedly embraced as a robust and credible alternative route to qualify by law firms, in-house legal teams and the wider profession. We are delighted to be working with Damar to embed BARBRI’s market leading technology and SQE learning expertise into this exciting new pathway”.

Lewis Drew (pictured below) is a paralegal with Pennon Group and will be joining the three-year programme. For him, the solicitor apprenticeship is ideal:

“The new solicitor apprenticeship route to qualification is a perfect fit for me. Training as a solicitor has been my goal since school – I was inspired by a scheme I took part in run by the Social Mobility Business Partnership. Having later graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Bristol, continuing my studies via a graduate diploma in law was the only way forward for me – until the pandemic hit. Adapting to learning remotely came as a huge challenge; and one which pushed me into the world of work as opposed to remaining in education. The ability to qualify over the course of three years whilst gaining experience through my role as a Paralegal is incredible, allowing me to build upon valuable foundations only possible through the new apprenticeship route – an opportunity I didn’t think I would secure as a non-law graduate!”


More detail on the background to these programmes is set out in Jonathan Bourne’s blog post here: https://damartraining.com/news/2023/solicitor-apprenticeships-the-next-stage-and-why-damar-and-barbri-are-leading-the-way/

To find out more, please contact Damar Training on 0161 480 8171 or via https://damartraining.com/contact-us/.