This autumn will see the legal doors opening for those who may not have previously had the means to pursue a career in law.
Byfield Consultancy's recent report 'Opening up or shutting out? Social mobility in the legal profession' reveals that education is still one of the main obstacles to wider access to the profession.
These new apprenticeships will allow individuals to qualify into various legal roles, such as being a paralegal or a solicitor, negating the requirement of a law degree for vocational training courses. This means that those who come from a disadvantaged background or those who do not have the resources to pursue a law degree and a legal career, will be able to do so in the future.
In the long term, it is hoped this will result in improved social mobility and diversity. Alongside other initiatives such as 'blind CVs' and flexible working hours, this is definitely a positive advancement for the profession as a whole.
A revolution that will open the legal profession to people without financial support or a degree begins this autumn. New apprenticeships will let candidates qualify as paralegals, chartered legal executives or solicitors without the costly hurdles of a degree, the one-year vocational training course and a two-year training contract. Instead, they will learn on the job, returning to the days when most solicitors qualified after training as articled clerks. The law became a mostly graduate profession only in the past 40 years, closing the door to entrants without degrees or means to raise the finances.