Allen & Overy is the latest international law firm to offer a non-traditional route to students aiming to enter the legal profession in the U.K.

A&O has launched a new apprenticeship programme for school leavers that leads to qualification as a solicitor in the U.K., the firm announced on Wednesday.

The firm will recruit an initial cohort of six solicitor apprentices in the first year who will be awarded an LLB (Hons) Law and Legal Practice by BPP University and a Solicitor Level 7 Apprenticeship on completion, as well as becoming a qualified solicitor once they pass the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), according to the firm’s statement.

The six year apprenticeship programme will kick off  in September 2022. Prior engagement with a “broad range of schools across England” will start in autumn 2021, the firm added.

 The programme is open to all who are completing their A-levels in 2022, with the firm “hoping to attract a socio-economically diverse pool of high-achieving pupils”, the statement said.

A&O is the latest firm to attempt to broaden the socio-economic diversity of the profession via new training opportunities.

Earlier in 2021, Linklaters joined a scheme to offer five fully-funded preparation courses for the SQE to refugee lawyers.