Apprentice Solicitor

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  • Employer The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
  • Job type Degree Apprenticeships
  • Salary £19,708
  • Deadline 07/11/2021

  • Entry requirements A-levels (or equivalent)
  • Locations Coventry
  • Qualifications gained Degree
  • Date published 11/10/2021

Summary

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (‘the Institute’) is working hard to create exciting opportunities for everyone by improving access to, and the quality of, giving apprenticeships and technical education. It’s an exciting time to join us as the Institute is expanding, both in size and the work that we do.

We know better than most that university isn’t the only choice for a successful career. That is why the Institute’s legal team is excited to be recruiting the very first apprentice solicitor across central government. If you are passionate about a career in law and are looking for an opportunity to start your working career now, our solicitor apprenticeship might be for you!

More information can be found in the candidate pack attached to the bottom of this advert. You can also find out more about the team, the job and the study element of the apprenticeship at one of our information webinars being held on 19 and 27 October. Please sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/being-an-apprentice-solicitor-at-the-institute-tickets-176625109457

As an organisation, our purpose is to help people of all ages and backgrounds get the opportunity to maximise their potential. We are committed to expanding our diverse workforce, and would welcome applications from underrepresented groups. For example, those who would be the first generation to attend university, those who received free school meals and those who were in care.

To support this aim, we will-

• operate a ’blind’ recruitment process – your name, where you went to school and/or where you live won’t factor into our recruitment process
• not require you to have any work experience (legal or otherwise)
• not consider your grades as part of our recruitment process (as long as you meet the minimum academic requirements in our eligibility criteria)
• keep our application process focussed and simple
• reimburse any travel expenses incurred to attend our assessment day.

Job description

Our six-year apprenticeship, starting in January 2022, will give you the opportunity to study a law degree and qualify as a solicitor whilst working at the heart of the public sector. From day one, you will be involved in high-quality work and will gain experience of working in a public body delivering on ambitious government plans for reform.

You will be joining a small and friendly legal team which was ‘highly commended’ in the 2020 British Legal Awards in the ‘Outstanding Innovation and Collaboration’ category and which has recently been shortlisted for the 2021 British Legal Awards in the ‘In-house Impact’ category. You will also be working with the General Counsel who is listed as one of The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100 of 2021’.

You will be based in either our London or Coventry office (as the legal team is based in both locations). That does not necessarily mean you need to live in these cities but, given the nature of the apprenticeship, you should expect to be in your ‘main’ office two days a week with occasional travel to the other location required (expenses for travel to other locations will be reimbursed).

For this apprenticeship, we have partnered with the University of Law. Throughout the duration of your apprenticeship, one day a week will be dedicated to learning, training and independent study. You will learn about core areas of law (such as contract law and public law) and as well as key legal skills, like research, legal writing and client service. This study will allow you to gain an undergraduate law degree (LLB Honours) and sit the Solicitors Qualifying Examination at the end of the apprenticeship.

Responsibilities

Joining the legal team means you will become part of the Institute family – helping the team to provide legal advice across all of the Institute’s activities. This means that no day will be the same. One day you could find yourself helping craft new laws, and another helping the Institute deal with public law challenges.

As part of this job, you will be supporting all members of the legal team (including the General Counsel) on all aspects of their work. During the early stages of your apprenticeship, common tasks are likely to include:
• attending meetings on high-profile reforms and taking notes
• supporting members of the legal team with administrative tasks
• keeping up-to-date with recent legal updates and sharing this with the team
• conducting legal research.

As you gain experience throughout the apprenticeship, your duties and level of responsibility will increase. Later on, you could find yourself:
• drafting legal documents, such as a contract change notice
• advising on common public law issues such as what the Institute’s functions are
• producing training materials for colleagues
• having your own ‘case load’ (e.g. reviewing contracts, assisting with freedom of information requests, dealing with ‘cases’ under the Institute’s internal appeal process).

Essential Criteria

We don’t mind where you went to school, whether you have the highest grades or whether you have any legal experience. We simply want someone with potential. The potential to be a great apprentice solicitor.

We are looking for someone who has:

1. An interest in working in a legal environment and the public sector
2. Good written and oral communication skills
3. Strong organisation and time management abilities
4. An outstanding eye for detail
5. An ability to work both independently and as part of a team
6. Good problem-solving skills
7. Good IT skills (Outlook, Word, Powerpoint)

Qualifications

5 x GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (including maths and English) (or equivalent)
3 x A levels at Grade C or above (or equivalent)

A levels (or equivalent) should be your highest qualification - any candidate holding a higher-level qualification will not be progressed to interview.

You must not be enrolled on another funded apprenticeship or further/higher education programme from January 2022.

Benefits

Applicants currently holding a permanent post in the Civil Service should note that, if successful, their salary on appointment would be determined by the Institute's transfer / promotion policies.

As a member of the Institute, you will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

The Institute aims to create a great place to work by offering:

• An environment with flexible working options

• Learning and development tailored to your role

• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

• An employer pension contribution of up to 27%

• A generous annual leave allowance up to 30 days after 5 years of service

• A wide variety of staff support networks including a Wellbeing Network, BAME Network, and a Diversity and Inclusion Network.

For this apprenticeship there will be the opportunity for grade progression throughout the duration of your apprenticeship. (EA for years’ 1, 2 & 3, EO for years’ 4 & 5 and HEO for year 6).

For information purposes only, the current salaries for the EO grade are £27,868 (London) / £24,196 (Coventry) and for the HEO grade £33,153 (London) / £29,522 (Coventry).

Things you need to know

Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

To apply for this job, all we’re asking is that you answer the following three questions:

1. Tell us why you are applying for this job and what interests you about being a lawyer
2. Tell us about a time where you have worked as part of a team or group and what your contribution was
3. Tell us why you would be a great apprentice solicitor

You will have up to 1000 words to answer the above questions (the word allowance should be broadly split across all three questions). Please clearly number your answers.

Tips for completing an application can be found in our frequently asked questions (FAQs) document attached to this advert.

If we receive high volumes of applications, we will sift based on the first question only.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an in-person assessment day. These will be held in Coventry and London on 15th – 17th November 2021. Travel expenses can be reimbursed.

The assessment day will involve an interview and written exercise. We may also use a test to assess your reasoning and logic skills (commonly known as a verbal reasoning test). You will not need any specific knowledge – legal or otherwise – for the assessment day.
Full details of the assessment day will be given in advance to shortlisted candidates.

The interview will be based on the essential criteria, as set out in the advert. If you do have any reasonable adjustments, you will be given the opportunity to declare this as part of the application process.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Reasonable adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via IFArecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to IFATE from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education recruitment processes are underpinned by the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Principles, which outlines that selection for appointment is made on merit based on fair and open competition.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the values in the Civil Service Code and/or if you feel the recruitment has been conducted in such a way that conflicts with the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Principles, you may make a complaint, by contacting the Central Recruitment Team at the following address hrcontact.institute@education.gov.uk

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint you have the right to complain to the Civil Service Commissioners

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :Name :
Institute Legal TeamEmail :
institute.LEGAL@education.gov.uk
Recruitment team :Email :
IFArecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

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