Formerly, enthusiastic legal minds were only able to join the firm’s Northern Ireland office as a Legal Professional (LP), and qualify as a lawyer through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
With the launch of Belfast-based training contracts however, the firm’s LPs will now have the opportunity qualify via the training contract route.
Claire Wright, graduate recruitment partner at A&O said: “Working in the LSC, our graduates get to work directly with some of A&O’s most innovative legal solutions, broadening their skillset in addition to the traditional legal skills they gain. This new training contract will give graduates greater flexibility to pursue a career in law while maintaining other skills and interests useful to their role as solicitors in the future.”
The decision to offer training contracts in Belfast signals the firm’s drive to invest in Northern Ireland's capital, and speaks volumes of the firm’s commitment to providing exceptional legal services, wherever the location.
Jane Townsend, partner and head of the LSC in Belfast, said: “As the challenges faced by our clients evolve, we need to ensure that our lawyer base is as diverse and has as broad a skillset as possible to best serve them. That’s why we are evolving our processes too, to attract and train talented and ambitious lawyers of the future from all kinds of backgrounds and with a range of skills and interests. [...] With this new route to qualification our aim is to make a career in the law a compelling prospect for a broader range of graduates.”
At present, the training contract is only open to the firm’s LPs who are also studying the Legal Practice Course (LPC) part-time. The first set of successful applicants will begin their training contract upon completion of the LPC in March and September 2021.