A high-growth Manchester law firm is looking to attract youngsters aspiring for a career in law through a new apprenticeship scheme with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).
Birchall Blackburn Law, based on Kennedy Street, has seen a surge in clients moving house, prompting high growth in its conveyancing team, which employs over 160 staff.
Bosses at the firm, recently named as one of London Stock Exchange’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, say the Manchester housing and property market will continue to grow, resulting in a need to develop the next generation of conveyancers.
James Boyd, chief executive of conveyancing at Birchall Blackburn Law, said: “We’re seeing record demand for our conveyancing service from across the UK, but particularly here in Manchester. With the government continuing to invest in housing and lenders offering flexible deals, the market is much stronger.
“The MMU programme is our way of finding and creating Manchester’s future conveyancers. The scheme will not only cover conveyancing law but how to create a positive customer experience by understanding their needs.”
There will be two levels with the apprenticeship scheme – Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services, and Level 4 Higher Level Apprenticeship in Legal Services, and the qualification is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
He added: "The scheme will be appealing to school leavers and those who have completed A-levels. It is a viable alternative to going to University to study law as students receive paid employment and relevant training and education without incurring the debt of paying for university fees and the associated costs of going to university.
“Investing in an apprenticeship programme will help train Manchester’s future conveyancers by giving them first-hand experience, a structured development programme and access to mentoring from our property specialists.”
Jacqueline Panter, Associate Head of Law at MMU, commented: “The Law School is a pioneer of legal apprenticeships, enabling employers to grow their own high-calibre workforce and forging major development opportunities for our learners.
“We are proud to support the entrepreneurial drive of businesses such as Birchall Blackburn Law. This programme will help us achieve our objective of allowing students to gain outstanding connections with some of the region’s most prestigious and influential legal practitioners.”
Birchall Blackburn Law has created 65 jobs in the conveyancing team over the last 12 months. In addition to the apprenticeship programme, the firm hopes to create a further 15 job vacancies by the end of the year to meet demand.
The law firm has achieved a turnover of £16million and has seen its head count pass the 300 employee mark. It holds nine Law Society accreditations across its service areas, holding the quality mark in Conveyancing, Insolvency, Family Law, Children Law and Commercial Litigation. It has offices in Chester, Chorley, Leyland, Manchester, Morecambe, Penwortham, Preston and Southport.