Think you need to go to university to start your career in law? Think again.

For some school and college leavers, ambition can't wait. We realise that some young people want to get their legal career started as soon as possible and our apprenticeship scheme makes it easier for you to do just that.

In September 2014 we launched the first of our apprenticeship programmes. We recognised the importance of creating alternative routes into the profession for those who wanted to get their first foot on the career ladder sooner rather than later. We also wanted to develop our own home grown talent to ensure a continued pipeline of paralegals and future lawyers.

Our well established Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship runs over two years. You'll work within our paralegal team, giving you access to a wide range of clients and types of work. This apprenticeship offers school leavers and those who choose not to go to University the opportunity to gain formal legal qualifications and a role in the profession through paid, on-the-job training as an apprentice paralegal.

Since starting in 2014, our apprenticeship scheme has been hugely successful and we've continued to build on that success year on year by recruiting further apprentices into our Plymouth office each September. If you're an ambitious A Level school leaver who is interested in pursuing a long term career in the legal sector, this is a fantastic opportunity to become a part of a renowned national law firm.

Paralegal apprentice role responsibilities

On a day to day basis you will:

  • Draft basic correspondence and prescribed legal documents
  • Conduct property and HM Land Registry searches under close supervision
  • Carry out basic legal and other research
  • Carry out basic account tasks in line with the firm's accounting procedures
  • Providing report and financial information as requested by internal and external clients
  • Processing monies and cheques into the department
  • Carry out the file opening process for new matters
  • Carry out the file closure process for old matters
  • Inputting data into spreadsheets and other IT systems and extracting and analysing as appropriate
  • To ensure the confidentiality of all client matters and internal business related matters
  • To develop an understanding of the business models operating within Womble Bond Dickinson
  • To develop an understanding of how client relationships are managed at Womble Bond Dickinson
  • To undertake all necessary training and development, participate in team meetings and contribute to the overall smooth running of the department
  • To act as an ambassador for the firm by attending careers fairs to promote the scheme.
Cilex award winners


"The apprenticeship scheme enabled me to develop personally and professionally. Through the combination of self-study and on the job experience I have the knowledge and opportunity to put what I am learning into practice. The firm provides a great deal of support and are extremely flexible in their approach to facilitating our requirements."

Jack Bidgood, apprenticeship scheme alumni, 2016
    Our recruitment process

    Our application process for 2018 will go live in January with a closing date of 31 May 2018, so don’t expect to hear back from us until after then.

    The next stage will be a short video interview with two pre-recorded questions. Once successfully through that stage, you'll be invited in for 4 day workplace assessment in our Plymouth office where you'll get to work within the various paralegal teams, performing some research tasks etc. During the workplace assessment there'll be a group exercise, a short IT test and an informal interview with two friendly interviewers.

    We aim to make decisions by 31 July 2018 with a view to welcoming our new cohort of paralegal apprentices in September 2018.

    Your career at Womble Bond Dickinson

    The quality of training at Womble Bond Dickinson is second to none. Well, that's certainly what our people tell us. Our supervisors are trained and fully supported on an on-going basis. You'll have access to high quality work and regular training opportunities.

    As a paralegal apprentice you'll be allocated a supervisor and a mentor, and of course will have each other to guide you through the next two years. We're keen that you experience a broad variety of work before you decide what you'd like to specialise in so we'll rotate you through a number of the teams on a regular basis. This could mean you experience commercial property, debt recovery or our more flexible resource which supports a host of practice areas including employment, dispute resolution and commercial to name a few.

    There is a clear structure in place for our paralegals to progress from the entry level roles up to team leader positions and, for those who want to, we'll support aspirations to qualify whether that is through training contract applications or alternative routes to qualification.

    Your salary and benefits

    We work hard to ensure that remuneration is competitive, and our approach to salary setting is consistent and fair. We have yearly pay reviews, usually in November.

    We have a flexible benefits system which is delivered online via Choices which allows employees to mix and match their benefit offering to best suit their personal circumstances. These include:

    • Buying and selling holiday entitlement
    • Life assurance
    • Private medical cover and dental cover
    • Pension contributions
    • Childcare vouchers
    • Travel loan schemes and discounted car parking schemes.

    We also have firm wide bonus schemes which recognise performance against certain criteria and/or reward clear examples of those living our values. This allows our people to share in our success and to celebrate what matters most to our business.

    What we're looking for

    We're looking for bright and enthusiastic individuals who love working in a team. You should have a good academic track record as well as be able to prove good organisational and customer service skills, great communication skills and a desire for continued learning. Sound like you? We want to hear from you.