Defendant insurance law firm Plexus Law has announced the 10-year anniversary celebration of its pioneering apprenticeship programme to coincide with the launch of its 2022 intake.
Established in 2012, the scheme is one of the first major legal apprenticeship programmes to be launched by a national law firm, designed to widen access to the profession to those from less privileged backgrounds. The celebrations are in conjunction with the opening of the firm’s application process for its 2022 intake, with applicants invited to apply to a number of its offices across the UK. To mark the anniversary, Plexus worked with providers to redesign its programme for Paralegal and Solicitor apprentices, to include a greater range of skills applicable to working in a modern law firm – this includes horizon scanning, commercial awareness, and the practical use of technology. The firm is currently supporting 75 Solicitor and Paralegal apprentices across five of its offices – including London, Leeds and Manchester. Alongside the practical training, the scheme was developed through longstanding partnerships with a range of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including, universities, across the country. The firm also works with local schools and academies to encourage participation from underrepresented groups via a number of targeted career events throughout the year and with local businesses and charities to specifically target potential applicants from schools in more deprived areas.
Thomas Des-Rosiers, Solicitor Apprentice (LLB Legal Practice and Skills student), said: “When I was finishing college, I was not sure whether I wanted to go to university. I attended a presentation from Plexus, which opened my eyes to the apprenticeship option. I decided I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I wanted first-hand experience of the legal environment and believed it would be easier to learn whilst doing, with the added bonus of also earning.
“Plexus were one of the early leaders of the apprenticeship, so I was able to hear from and speak with apprentices who worked there at the time to get a flavour for what it was like.
“The support network from Plexus; the management, talent and development team, and my colleagues which has really helped in developing me as a person and as a lawyer. I genuinely don’t think that such a support network would be available in anything other than an apprenticeship programme.”Olivia Roberts, CEO, of Plexus Law, said: “We are extremely proud to be pioneering providers of legal apprenticeships through our sector-leading scheme, as we prepare to celebrate its ten-year anniversary. The scheme was designed to widen access to the legal profession to those from less privileged backgrounds, by providing an alternative route to qualification. It has proven to be a resounding success, with many of our early apprentices – who may not have otherwise had opportunities to enter our industry – moving on to have long, successful careers at Plexus and beyond.
“As the landscape for legal services providers continues to evolve, so too must our apprenticeship programme. For the decade ahead, it will not be enough to simply know the law. Instead, the next generation of lawyers will need a broader skillset to reap the benefits of technological innovation – including the ability to see ahead for the challenges of the future, demonstrate greater commercial awareness, and better utilise technology to improve outcomes and create efficiencies for clients. Supporting the development of those skills will help us to grow and expand as a business whilst setting up our apprentices to achieve the very best in the future.”
To find out more about how the Apprenticeship Scheme, click here.