2020 Annual Report

4 min read

Twenty-first century lawyers

Levelling up access to a tech-driven legal career

  • The legal profession is changing fast. So we’re taking a progressive approach to recruiting legal trainees. Joining forces with the University of Law (ULaw) we’re offering a new route to qualifying into the legal profession, removing financial barriers by allowing graduates to earn while they learn.

Qualifying to practice law can be difficult for those who need to earn a living straight after they graduate.

“Taking an additional LPC or law conversion is prohibitively expensive for some graduates” said Michael Castle, UK managing partner for Deloitte Legal “which can be a barrier to entering the profession.”

Our Solicitors Qualifying Education (SQE) training contract is changing that. A collaboration with ULaw, it widens access to legal training by enabling graduates to earn while they learn.

Replacing the LPC and law conversion courses, the programme offers graduates the chance to gain valuable work experience in our legal practice even before sitting their exams.

“After studying my conversion to English law through evening classes whilst working full time, the ability to continue earning throughout my entire qualification route was a major draw to Deloitte’s training contract” said Fraser Morrison, who is part of the course’s first cohort and has a Scottish Law degree.

A new generation of talent

As an early adopter of this new qualification, we’re looking to set a different kind of legal precedent and build a new generation of legal talent.

“It’s important that our lawyers are from different backgrounds” Michael continued.

“Paying attention to people’s different life experiences is the way to build a strong team with a diversity of ideas – and that’s how we will make the best impact for our clients.”

A key part of this approach is building trainees’ experience of the firm’s pioneering legal technology.

It’s another sign of sweeping changes in the legal profession and the in-demand tech skills that will put our recruits ahead of the competition.

“We’re in the fortunate position of being able to immediately adopt the new SQE and build in training in legal technology” continued Michael, “putting us at the forefront of an exciting new era in legal education and training.”

An inclusive approach

Launched at Deloitte in 2020, our first course attracted an overwhelming response from graduates who will qualify as solicitors in 2023.

Recognising the importance of designing an inclusive recruitment process, we collaborated with diversity-recruitment specialists Rare.

Together, we designed an application process that uses contextualised academic and economic data to widen the talent pool and remove any unconscious bias.

Enabling us to identify candidates with the greatest potential, it is a vital part of our plans to foster a new generation of high quality, forward-thinking solicitors.

Practical experience and academic study

The Solicitors Qualifying Education (SQE) combines our industry insight and ULaw’s academic expertise.

“With the new SQE training contracts allowing students to experience the real legal world earlier in their career and education” says the university’s Vice-Chancellor and CEO, Andrea Nollent “we are teaming up with Deloitte to continue providing practical, hands-on legal education.”

In their four days a week at the firm, graduates will learn on the job, immersed in our specialist areas of practice including tax litigation, employment and corporate and commercial law.

They’ll also learn to integrate the firm’s proprietary legal technology, including AI-enabled contract management tool dTrax, and legal compliance portal MyInsight into their practice.

Legal BrightStart Apprenticeship

In addition to the graduate training contracts, we’ve also included new legal apprenticeships as part of our successful BrightStart Apprenticeship. The programme offers students the chance to gain professional qualifications while being fully immersed in a job helping to solve some of Deloitte’s clients’ most challenging problems.

Dimple Agarwal, Deloitte’s managing partner for People and Purpose, added: “A Deloitte Legal apprenticeship can be the first step in an exciting career, working on projects that have a real impact to our clients’ businesses. We provide training for all of the skills and knowledge needed to do the job."

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