Solicitor Apprenticeship (Level 7)
Our solicitor apprenticeships bring together Damar’s longstanding expertise in legal apprenticeships with the technical expertise of BARBRI, a global leader in vocational legal education. Built to meet the needs of legal services employers and their teams, our programmes provide a route to qualification for paralegals, including former paralegal apprentices, and new or existing colleagues with some prior legal qualifications or experience.
- Our shorter-form solicitor apprenticeship is designed for law graduates, holders of a graduate diploma in law (GDL), those with CILEX level 6, Licensed Conveyancers and similar.
- Our longer-form solicitor apprenticeship is designed for non-law graduates, successful paralegal apprentices, those with CILEX level 3, Conveyancing Technicians, Licensed Paralegals and similar.
Apprentices benefit from BARBRI’s SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Examination) intelligent online learning platform that flexes content and questioning to shore-up weaknesses and develop strengths. And, in a structured and supportive coach-led environment, they learn to develop and apply at work the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by newly qualified solicitors.
- Shorter-form solicitor apprenticeship, 18 months
- Longer-form solicitor apprenticeship, 36 months
End-point assessment and marking adds c.4 months depending on exam dates
SQE study programmes develop and test knowledge across:
- SQE1 content and subjects tested
- Business Law and Practice (including taxation)
- Dispute resolution
- The legal system of England and Wales
- Legal drafting
- Property Practice (including taxation)
- Solicitors’ Accounts
- Land Law
- Criminal law and Practice
Ethics and Professional conduct will be evidenced and examined throughout the course.
- SQE 2 content and subjects tested
- Client interviewing (and attendance notes)
- Case and matter analysis
- Legal research and written advice
- Legal writing
- Legal drafting
- Criminal Litigation (including advising clients at the police station)
- Dispute Resolution
- Property Practice
- Wills and Intestacy, Probate Administration and Practice
- Business organisations, rules and procedures (including money laundering and financial services)
Development, application and evidencing of performance against each aspect of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s statement of solicitor competence.
Working with their Damar coach, apprentices complete contextualised activity briefs that enable them to put their learning into practice at work and build robust evidence of qualifying work experience (QWE)
Additional content in the longer-form apprenticeship.
- Foundations of English Law course at the start to ensure that all apprentices have a core understanding of legal principles.
- SQE content is delivered over a longer period, with additional coaching support – because these apprentices have further to travel.
- “Preparation for Practice” content ensures that apprentices develop the wider business and practice skills that they will need.
All apprenticeships embed the functional use of maths and English as well as personal development topics in areas such as equality and diversity and British Values. Apprentices unable to evidence maths and English at GCSE level 4 or above may need to take functional skills exams as part of the apprenticeship. Additional training is provided if necessary.
People of all ages and educational backgrounds can undertake apprenticeships, but there are some restrictions, the most important of which are:
- The employer and the training provider must ascertain that the apprenticeship will allow the individual to gain substantive new skills.
- The apprenticeship must align with the skills needs of the apprentice’s role.
- The apprentice must be employed, usually for 30+ hours a week, and work more than 50% of their time in England.
- All apprenticeships must take at least 12 months with apprentices spending a minimum of 6 hours per week in off-the-job training. NB: solicitor apprentices can be expected to need 8 to 9 hours a week of off-the-job-training time. There is more on how we maximise the benefits of off-the-job training here: https://damartraining.com/news/2023/so-what-is-off-the-job-training/.
Our solicitor apprenticeship programmes are designed as progression routes which means that the following additional eligibility criteria apply:
- For the shorter-form programme, applicants must have been employed in a law firm (or in-house) for 30+ hours per week, for at least 6 months prior to enrolment, and have either a law degree or graduate diploma in law (ideally within the last five years) or other relevant legal qualifications at a similar level (e.g., CILEX L6 or Licensed Conveyancer).
- For the longer-form programme, applicants must be employed in a law firm (or in-house) for 30+ hours per week and have either a non-law degree or have successfully completed a paralegal apprenticeship. or similar (e.g., CILEX L3 or Conveyancing Technician)
- We do not want to restrict access for exceptional candidates – please consult our team.
- In all cases, candidates must have at least 5 GCSES (or equivalent) at grade 4 or above, including maths and English.
- LPC graduates are ineligible as they do not need 12 months of study to prepare for SQE2.
If your annual UK wage bill is over £3 million, the cost of training can be funded via the Apprenticeship Levy. We can help you navigate your Apprenticeship Service account to access this funding.
If your annual UK wage bill is below £3 million, the government covers 95-100% of the training costs. The level of funding available is determined by the size of your business and the age of the apprentice.
Apprentices can progress into Damar’s solicitor apprenticeships from a wide range of prior qualifications. These include (but are not limited to): the paralegal apprenticeship standard, Level 3 CILEX, Level 6 CILEX, law/non-law degrees, and CLC conveyancing qualifications.
As a qualified solicitor, further progression and cross-qualification is possible, for example to partnership (private practice) or general counsel (in-house), judicial roles and, via cross-qualification, to the Bar.
Shorter-form solicitor apprenticeship
Longer-form solicitor apprenticeship
To discuss how Damar apprenticeships can help your organisation and your colleagues to achieve their potential, please click 'Make an enquiry'
Our delivery model
- Detailed weekly study schedule and content on BARBRI system. Apprentices have a detailed dashboard showing SQE1 progress and the likelihood of exam success, benchmarked against the real-life experience of other students.
- Group workshops and strategy sessions with experienced tutors to develop skills and exam technique.
- 1:1 Coaching visits. Every six weeks, where work completed, and feedback are reviewed and, if it is to the right standard, the module will be signed off. It is also an opportunity to review progress and discuss personal development with the apprentice.
- Activity briefs. Between each coaching visit apprentices are set an activity brief linked to one or more competencies in the apprenticeship standard (which track the SRA’s statement of solicitor competence). This allows the apprentice to embed and contextualise their learning. It also enables them to build a portfolio of qualifying work experience (QWE) evidence and, in time, demonstrate their readiness for end-point assessment.
- Review meeting. Takes place with the apprentice and their supervisor every 12 weeks, immediately after a coaching visit, providing a further opportunity to review progress.
The form of assessment and required standard are as for all solicitors qualifying via the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
- SQE1 is completed during the period of on “on programme” learning.
- SQE2 is the end-point assessment for the solicitor apprenticeship.
SQE1 must be successfully completed before SQE2.