The Paralegal Apprenticeship
This apprenticeship has been developed as part of the government's Trailblazer initiative and the paralegal apprenticeship standard is available on the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills website. Key features are:
- A 24 month programme.
- Pathways available: Civil Litigation, Employment, Family, Property and Probate Practice.
- Apprentices can stay in the same team throughout the programme.
- 20% off-the-job learning required as a minimum: EITHER a half day off per week with the rest as extra learning at work and additional revision leave OR a day’s study leave per week. We can give you detailed advice on how to achieve the 20% requirement.
- Progression to the CILEx professional qualification, Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship or Solicitor Apprenticeship.
Who is a suitable candidate for a Paralegal Apprenticeship/
This programme is aimed at:
- School leavers with a minimum of three Cs at A Level who have the maturity to study law and possess good written English.
- Paralegals or other current employees in administration or customer service who have the potential for development.
- Those who have already completed an intermediate apprenticeship such as the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Legal Administration and have completed written exams at AS/A Level.
- All candidates must have 5 GCSE grades A* to C/9-5, including English and Maths.
What is the content of the Paralegal Apprenticeship?
The programme is designed to deliver the knowledge and skills to meet the Paralegal Apprenticeship Standard. For the knowledge element, all apprentices will study, and sit CILEx assessments in, the following CILEx Level 3 units:
- Unit 1 Introduction to Law and Practice
- Unit 16 Client Care Skills
- Unit 17 Legal Research Skills
Additionally they will acquire knowledge of law and practice appropriate to their job roles and the pathway selected, on which they will be assessed at the end of their apprenticeship.
Apprentices will compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate how they meet the paralegal standard. They will have a short interview about how they met the paralegal standard in the final few months of the paralegal apprenticeship. It will be with CILEx, as the end point assessor.
How will the knowledge and skills be delivered and assessed?
This scheme requires assessment at the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the standards have been met.
- The CILEx Level 3 unit Introduction to Law and Practice is assessed through the central CILEx exam. This is a multiple choice paper available twice a year.
- The professional skills of client care and legal research are assessed by coursework marked by CLS and moderated by CILEx.
- For law and practice units, apprentices sit two 90 minute contextualised scenario assessments under supervision. The first scenario tests the learner’s problem solving, through a series of MCQs. Accompanying questions test knowledge of the English Legal System, and the chosen area of law and practice. The second scenario includes short answer questions and drafting exercises.
- The portfolio: evidence gathered during the apprenticeship to demonstrate knowledge and competence is compiled into a portfolio during the final four months of the apprenticeship, which is used to form the basis of the interview.
- An end point interview is conducted, during which apprentices are asked about their portfolio.
Please note that learners will need to show evidence of having achieved GCSE-level Maths and English prior to undertaking their end point assessment.
How does CILEx Law School support apprentices?
For the knowledge element of the apprenticeship, learners will attempt formative assessments (open book study exercises) during the course of the programme, with marking and feedback provided by our tutors.
On the competence element, our delivery team will guide and review the development of competence throughout the programme, and will identify relevant evidence for inclusion in the portfolio and end point interview.
Apprentices are supported in the competence and technical units through specially-developed learning materials, e-learning, telephone support, webinars and some face-to-face teaching/assessment. Our learner management information system enables employers to be informed about their employees’ progression through their units.
Apprentices have access to the online Student Area which is the hub of their studies and through which they access a wealth of resources to deliver the knowledge and professional skills elements of the standard. Each apprentices receives regular visits from one of our regionally-based team of law teachers and assessors.
|Face-to-face or interactive webinar induction
|Schemes of work with targets broken down across the period of the programme
|Tracking of progress and reporting to employer
|Regular visits by their allocated legally-qualified assessor and trainer
|Contact by phone/email between visits
|On-line system to record evidence to support achievement of Paralegal Standard
|Knowledge and technical know-how
|Course manual specially written to deliver the syllabus
|Interactive webinars and/or face to face teaching support to teach law and professional skills
|“The Student Area” virtual learning environment giving access to resources for all units in one location through personalised login
|Webcasts on law topics
|Formative study exercises with feedback from subject specialists
|Revision materials where technical units lead to a timed assessment
|Face-to-face or webinar revision sessions with specialist tutors prior to exams
|Academic study assistance during office hours
|Professional skills units
|Marked mock assignments to develop skills
Costs and funding
The minimum wage for an apprentice aged under 22 in the first year of the apprenticechip is £3.50/hour, but employers in the legal services sector will usually pay significantly more than that. The funding rate payable for the delivery of this apprenticeship has been set by the government at £9,000. If you are a levy payer this can be allocated from your levy. If you are not a levy payer then the government will pay 90% of this amount and you will pay the remaining 10%. Incentive payments of £1,000 are payable if you recruit an under 19 year old. See the table below for funding and allocation of the levy for this apprenticeship.
|Fewer than 50 employees where the apprentice is 16-18 years old
||No cost to employer – government pays all. Incentive payment of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.
|For non-levy paying employers (payroll less than £3m).
||10% of capped cost = £900.
Incentive payment back of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.
|For levy-paying employers (payroll greater than £3m)
||£9,000 comes out of the levy pot. Any additional paralegal apprentices taken on once levy pot, plus government 10% top up, used, would then cost the employer only £900 per apprentice.
Incentive payment back of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.
Apprentices who complete this programme already have five CILEx Level 3 units and wil be able to progress through further training to qualify as Chartered Legal Executives or to move into the Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship.
What other Trailblazer apprenticeships are available for the legal sector?
Trailblazer apprenticeship standards have also been developed for solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeships. CILEx Law School is offering the solicitor apprenticeship in partnership with City, University of London. The paralegal apprenticeship affords exemptions from the first year of the Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship, and from five Level 3 units in the Chartered Legal Executive vocational training route.
How do I start the process?
If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact Jenny Pelling, our Director of Business and Apprenticeships, on 01234 844326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship, please visit our vacancies page or contact email@example.com.