Stephens Scown LLP is among the first law firms in Cornwall to employ a solicitor apprentice.

The Truro-based firm has several apprentices studying towards qualifications in HR, Digital Marketing and Legal, but Lexie Williams is the first solicitor apprentice.

Lexie said: “The firm has been brilliant at making me feel included. Colleagues have taken time to help me understand all the different legal systems that we use, and I have been given legal work which has let me gain my first taste of life as an apprentice solicitor. I really appreciate the responsibility I have been given and look forward to developing my skills further.

“My week is divided into four days working at the firm and one day where I study in the office. This means that I can easily ask questions or get clarification on the current university unit.

"I would strongly recommend doing a solicitor apprenticeship, as it allows you to combine the academic side with practical legal elements and get an all-round understanding of how the law works. Every solicitor I have spoken to has said that they’re really envious of me qualifying this way, and that they wish that they’d had the opportunity to do an apprenticeship.”

Lexie joined the firm’s corporate Cornwall team in December last year and began her solicitor apprenticeship with the University of Law in January 2020.

This new apprenticeship will run for six to seven years, during which time Lexie will be combining legal work and university-set work to complete a law degree and a training contract.

Lexie added: “I have a history degree from Exeter University, but have always been interested in law so this apprenticeship is a perfect fit. I met with Stephens Scown’s recruitment team at a recent careers fair and we started talking about the solicitor apprentice opportunity; the rest is history.”

Lexie’s type of apprenticeship is a first for the firm, as it means that she can come in without a legal degree and progress through her course to qualify as a solicitor at the end of it.

Stephens Scown managing partner Richard Baker is proud of the firm’s apprentices, both in terms of their development and what they bring to the firm: “We know from experience how valuable apprenticeships are to the firm, as all our apprentices have brought in fresh ideas and proven themselves as assets, while constantly improving through their training and learning.

“Stephens Scown is committed to supporting apprentices from their first day all the way through to qualification and beyond, and I am proud that we have expanded our offering to apprentices in Cornwall through the solicitor apprenticeship.”