Law is typically the career path of the most diligent students - but aspiring solicitors can now skip university and law school thanks to the launch of London's first earn-as-you-learn legal apprenticeship.
City law firm Mayer Brown has teamed up with the University of Law to offer the “articled apprenticeship", which is aimed at school leavers who have finished their A-levels as well as career changers.
The new six-year "articled apprenticeship" is salaried from day one, with a four-year part-time law degree, as well as the legal practice course (LPC) and the professional skills course (PSC) to be completed in two years.
Half way through the programme, the work will start to count towards a training contract as “ a period of recognised training” until the PSC is completed.
Currently anyone keen on lawyering must spend at least three years completing an undergraduate degree, followed by up to two years in law school, as well as a two-year training contract at their chosen law firm.
But law school can be very expensive if they're unable to secure sponsorship from a law firm or another provider - with fees ranging from around £8,000 to £15,000 per year.
"This new six-year route to qualification as a solicitor gives employers a ground-breaking way to attract and nurture talent," Annette Sheridan, global human resources chief at Mayer Brown, said.
"It is in all our interests for sustaining a dynamic legal services market to recruit the most able people from all walks of life," John Latham, chief executive and president at The University of Law, said.