Global firm Mayer Brown has become the first in the City to offer the articled apprenticeship programme.

The six-year programme, which includes a degree, postgraduate qualification and training contract, will be run with the University of Law, Mayer Brown said. 

The programme provides a non-graduate route to qualification as a solicitor, reminiscent of the old articled clerkship. 

Mayer Brown said it is looking for an apprentice to join the six-year scheme in September 2015.

The training programme consists of a four-year part-time LLB followed by the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Professional Skills Course (PSC).

After the third year, the apprentice’s work will begin to count towards a training contract, which will continue until the PSC is completed.

Candidates will study part-time at the University of Law, and will spend their first 12-18 months in the business service department at the firm before working with a number of practices within the London office. Apprentices will start on a salary of £18,000, which will increase as the apprentice becomes more experienced and gains qualifications. 

To apply candidates typically need a minimum of AAB at A-level and A-C in GCSE maths and English, or equivalent. 

Mayer Brown said it wants to attract candidates from a ‘range of backgrounds’, and will advertise the role with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity London and Aspiring Lawyers, organisations which aim to increase the presence of under-represented groups in the legal sector. 

John Latham, chief executive of the University of Law, said the new route gives employers a ‘groundbreaking way’ to attract and nurture talent. 

‘It is in all our interests for sustaining a dynamic legal services market to recruit the most able people from all walks of life. It is great to have such a well-respected international firm to be leading on this initiative’.