Blacks Solicitors has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to investing in future legal talent by launching a new paralegal apprenticeship scheme.

Launched in a move to widen the routes into the legal profession, offering an alternative to University, two apprentices - Bella Birkett and James MacKenzie - have already joined the new Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship, which takes two years to complete, and requires 96 UCAS points to enter.

Bella and James have both joined the Residential Property team initially as part of their apprenticeship. The course will see them working in different areas of law, receiving a high level of training in each discipline, whilst experiencing considerable client contact.

Paralegals are an integral part of any legal team and can be vital in the success of a case. They work to support other legal professionals, helping to prepare legal documents, manage cases, and carry out research which enables other lawyers to work efficiently.

Paralegals are often the first point of contact for clients and their professionalism and knowledge of the law can greatly impact the client’s experience with the legal system.

Commenting on her apprenticeship experience so far, Bella said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Blacks in the Residential Property team. I’m looking forward to receiving training and gaining first-hand experience in the legal sector, all whilst working towards a qualification.”

In addition to the two new paralegal apprentices, Neave Robinson has joined the Family Law team at Blacks Solicitors as part of the Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship programme. This apprenticeship takes six years to complete and is suitable for those with no prior legal education. It requires 128 UCAS points to enter.

In addition to the Level 3 Paralegal and Level 7 Solicitor apprenticeships, Blacks Solicitors also offers a Graduate Solicitor apprenticeship, which takes two and a half years to complete.

Tom Moyes, Training Partner at Blacks Solicitors, said: “Investing in apprenticeship schemes makes good business sense as they attract talent from a range of backgrounds, and their inclusive nature allows individuals to train and qualify as a lawyer even if they aren’t able to access more traditional routes.”

Apprentices at Blacks Solicitors play a vital role in the firm, working alongside fee earning solicitors and paralegals to develop their legal knowledge and gain industry experience.

To date, Blacks Solicitors has celebrated the qualification of two apprentices, who both successfully completed the Level 7 apprenticeship scheme over six years, and has a total of ten apprentices at the firm.