Firm’s first legal apprentice qualifies

Oct 12, 2022

Legal apprentice, Lois Smith, has qualified as a solicitor, becoming one of Yorkshire’s first legal apprentices to become a fully qualified solicitor via the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) assessments route.

Lois joined the firm back in September 2015, initially undertaking a business administration apprenticeship. She then went on to study an LLB (Hons) Legal Practice course with BPP. This is a part-time degree programme primarily designed for learners who are on a Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme and takes 6 years to complete.

“I am extremely happy to be continuing my career as a qualified solicitor in the commercial property team in Leeds, after seven years with Schofield Sweeney. The solicitor apprenticeship route is a great opportunity to qualify as a solicitor with no student debt. I have gained 7 years’ experience alongside becoming a valued member of the team and the support I have had from the firm, the partners and other members of my team has been crucial to getting me to where I am today.” Lois Smith, Solicitor, commercial property.

Whilst at Schofield Sweeney she trained in the commercial property, litigation and corporate teams across our three offices, gaining experience across a range of legal departments.

Rob Hayes, Partner in the commercial property team said “All of us are delighted that Lois has achieved her goal of qualification after undertaking the apprenticeship route. Working closely with Lois as she has progressed, I can vouch for the enthusiasm and dedication that she has brought to our team and the firm.

We firmly believe that the apprenticeship route is a great way to embed colleagues into the culture of the business and her training will enable her to hit the ground running as she begins her career as a qualified solicitor. I am looking forward to working with her as we develop the next generation of apprentices at Schofield Sweeney.”

Neil Towse, HR Manager said “Lois’s success in qualifying as a solicitor via this route, together with how well she has developed at the firm, has shown that solicitor apprenticeships can be a meaningful and alternative route into the legal profession.  We are now in the process of looking at how we can create more roles within the firm, so that others can follow in her footsteps.”

Lois is joined by Leigh Freeman and Harry Whyte as newly qualified solicitors.

Leigh, who started her training contract in September 2020, says “I am delighted to be staying with the firm and joining the private wealth & succession team in Leeds. I have had such an enjoyable time during my training contract, and I am looking forward to the next steps.”

Schofield Sweeney pride themselves on being the first choice of employment for trainees once they finish their training.

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