Pathway to Success: Ashurst Launches a New Kind of Graduate Training Programme

May 23, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

Global law firm Ashurst has launched a ‘NewLaw’ graduate training scheme in which emerging and less traditional roles in law can be pursued.

What does this mean?

The term ‘NewLaw’ has many definitions. However, Jordan Furlong (a legal market analyst and consultant) states that NewLaw “represents a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed”. In short, NewLaw offers a flexible alternative to the traditional BigLaw business model and offers greater flexibility not only to a firm’s employees, but also its clients.

Ashurst’s ‘Pathway’ offers graduate opportunities in areas such as legal project management and legal technology. Furthermore, whilst this does not lead to qualification as a solicitor, ‘Pathway’ offers structured career development and the ability to obtain different professional qualifications. Mike Polson, co-head of Ashurst Advance, said that this “reflects the growing need for a wider range of roles and skills in the delivery of legal services to our clients.”

In order to apply for this role, candidates need not have completed the LPC, but preferably would have a background in law. However, it appears that non-law candidates would also be welcomed to apply.

What's the big picture effect?

The rise in ‘NewLaw’ corresponds with the changing legal landscape, which has seen the expansion of technology into an industry which has been traditionally resistant to change. Ashurst’s ‘Pathway’ is just one of the programmes offered by city law firms which seek to attract graduates who want greater flexibility in their work.

Firms are increasingly facing competition from alternative legal service providers who can offer clients a cheaper and more efficient option. Therefore, adopting NewLaw could be a crucial way to ensure that firms prosper. NewLaw solutions promises to entail fewer hours of work than the traditional BigLaw business model. This is achieved through a greater focus on technology (such as cloud-based computing and remote working), as well as alternative fee arrangements which replace the traditional billable hour of law firms.

The launch of Ashurst’s programme along with other less traditional options (e.g. the Allen & Overy tech focused graduate scheme) is a step in the right direction for firms who wish to accept and utilise change, instead of opposing it.

Report written by Natasha D

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