Listed international firm DWF is to embrace the solicitor ‘super-exam’ in a new graduate training scheme, as the City prepares for major changes in legal education.

The graduate entry-level apprenticeship programme will be introduced in January 2022 and will last for 32 months. Graduates will initially study full time at BPP University in order to take the first Solicitors Qualifying Exam assessment, before starting two years of qualifying work experience.

During their work experience, graduates will be able to spend time in different practice areas and complete internal and external secondments, and at the end of the programme they will obtain a Graduate Entry Solicitor Level Apprenticeship and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

The programme will replace DWF’s traditional training contract, and the firm will no longer sponsor future joiners to do the Legal Practice Course. However, it will accept candidates who have already completed the LPC.

The firm said the programme will take advantage of the flexibility of the SQE and allow graduates to start earning as soon as they start.

Clare Collins, head of learning and development at DWF said: 'We are excited to have partnered with BPP University Law School to offer one of the first graduate programmes that meets the SQE requirements. The programme will not only give candidates all the preparation they need to pass the exams but will equip them with the technical, commercial and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in a changing legal environment.’

The SQE has yet to be signed off by the Legal Services Board, which is expected to give make a decision by the end of October.