Pioneering solicitor apprenticeship launches for 2023

A trailblazing apprenticeship programme which has redefined the route into law for young people in the North East is again offering opportunities for aspiring lawyers across the region.

The North East Solicitor Apprenticeship (NESA) offers a six-year training scheme as a means to enter the legal profession, rather than the traditional route of qualification as a lawyer, and since its foundation in 2017, has created opportunities for young people in law firms and partner businesses across the North East.

Many apprentices who were part of the first NESA intake are now nearing qualification in leading law firms around the region.

Two of the NESA founder law firms – Sintons and Muckle – continue to be part of the initiative for 2023, and are joined by two of the leading names in North East business as partners – Barbour and Newcastle Building Society.

The programme offers paid employment as an apprentice and in-house training from lawyers, many of whom are regional and national leaders in their field. The on-the-job training is supplemented by academic support from Northumbria University.

The application process for the 2023 apprenticeships is open, with NESA engaging with schools and colleges across the region in the search for the next generation of legal talent.

An information evening is to be held at Northumbria University on January 17, when the application process will be officially launched, with the closing date set for February 24. Following interviews, successful applicants will begin in their new roles in September.

Gemma Hewitt, head of people services at Sintons, says: “The NESA programme has truly redefined the route into law as it has always been known, enabling young people for whom university was not an option to consider becoming a lawyer.

“This new accessible route, which also offers a salary, has meant the talent pool has been significantly widened in the search for the outstanding lawyers of the future, which is fantastic news for the career choices of young people at schools and colleges across the North East.

“Sintons are a founder member of NESA, and we are proud of the contribution we have made to creating opportunities for young people in the region, who are now valued members of our team. We look forward to adding more solicitor apprentices to our team in the near future.”

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