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School of Law

Reed Smith and Queen Mary University of London first in Russell Group to offer 'degree with apprenticeship in law'

A new practice-based undergraduate law degree with placements at a City law firm.

QMUL Reed Smith Law in Practice launch

Global law firm Reed Smith and the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London (a member of the Russell Group) have announced the creation of an innovative new “degree with apprenticeship in law” programme. The new four year LLB “Law in Practice” degree combines the best aspects of a global top 100 legal education with an immersive, year-long placement at Reed Smith.

The degree is being made available to existing Queen Mary LLB students from January 2015, with the first formal placement planned to take place in 2016-17. Initially, five successful students will be guaranteed a place with a view to increasing the number to 10 in 2017-18. Students initially apply to the LLB and can then apply for a place on the new programme at the end of their first year.

Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Head of the Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London, commented: “We are very excited to collaborate with Reed Smith on this innovative new programme. It supports and reaffirms our commitment to deliver real-world, practical experience, alongside traditional educational approaches and academic excellence that students expect from one of the UK’s leading law schools. The new degree provides our students with an opportunity available at no other Russell Group university.”

"Careers in law are increasingly competitive and both degrees and apprenticeships offer valuable routes to student employability,” commented Nigel Spencer, global director of learning and development at Reed Smith. “Our new ‘degree with apprenticeship in law’ offers the best of both, ensuring that students can benefit not only from the in-depth critical thinking of a law degree at a top university but also gain hands-on commercial experience of legal practice in a City law firm.”

As part of the criteria for the course, students (including those currently in the first year of their degree) will be required to complete an eligibility assessment at the end of the first year. Successful students will then be required to complete special skills modules in the second year prior to the placement, which will also be available for all QMUL second year law students.

“Although the work placement model exists in more technical degrees, there has never been a law degree at a Russell Group University with a practice-based emphasis,” said Lucy Crittenden, graduate recruitment manager at Reed Smith. “We work with a number of different universities to support greater employability skills for students and our new degree with Queen Mary creates a blueprint to assist UK plc in the development of commercial and ‘business-ready’ students.”

Reed Smith’s collaboration with QMUL follows a number of other learning initiatives by the firm to create highly commercial future lawyers. In 2012, Reed Smith announced the creation of its unique Legal Practice Course (LPC), in partnership with BPP's Law & Business Schools. This pioneering course: fully integrates legal and business learning throughout the year; incorporates award-winning, practical leadership development opportunities such as MBA-style business intelligence projects at clients and reverse mentoring; and leads to a unique Masters qualification, the MA (LPC with Business).

Pictured: Nigel Spencer, Reed Smith global director of learning and development; Christina Perry, Queen Mary law lecturer/senior tutor; Lucy Crittenden, Reed Smith graduate recruitment manager; and Peter Hardy, Reed Smith partner and training principal.

Note to Editors:

About Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London is the “biggest star” (Times Higher Education) amongst the UK's leading research-intensive higher education institutions, with five campuses in the capital: Mile End, Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square, West Smithfield and Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

A member of the Russell Group, Queen Mary is also one of the largest of the colleges of the University of London, with 17,800 students – 20 per cent of whom are from more than 150 countries.

The Department of Law is one of the leading law schools in the country. The Department of Law at Queen Mary University of London has been ranked third in the UK and first in London in the Guardian University Guide 2015 subject league tables for law.

For further information, please visit

About the Reed Smith and BPP Law School MA (LPC with Business)

In 2012, Reed Smith and BPP Law School (BPP) launched a new version of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) that fully integrates legal and business learning throughout the year and leads to a unique Masters qualification, the MA (LPC with Business).

The bespoke programme allows graduates to study commercial and legal aspects in parallel, and not separately, so that they complete the course before entering their training contract with Reed Smith.

In addition to the LPC curriculum, a range of business modules are built into the programme, which include: business and sector analysis, the financial markets, strategy, governance, regulation and risk. Students also conduct a business consultancy project based on a real life scenario, to help build their understanding of the firm’s clients and their business sectors prior to joining.

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a global law firm with 25 offices and more than 1,800 lawyers in offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

For further information, please visit or contact Jeyda Star (senior PR & communications manager EME) on +44 (0)20 3116 2571.



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