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Frettens launch all new Graduate Scheme

View profile for Karen Edwards
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We are delighted to launch our brand new Graduate Scheme, based on the SQE route to qualification.

“Our new Graduate Scheme removes a lot of the historic barriers to qualifying as a solicitor.” says Managing Partner Matthew Fretten.

“Tuition and exams are fully funded, trainees are given ten additional paid study days per year, are given valuable and meaningful experience in a variety of different departments, and are properly supported by their peers and colleagues.”

Why a new scheme?

Matthew Fretten says: “We are a growing and ambitious law firm, and our people are at the very heart of everything we do. We have doubled in size in a few years and have plans to continue that growth.

For that reason, we have put together what we believe is one of the best solicitor Graduate Schemes on the south coast.

We aren’t just employing trainees, we are investing in the future of our business.”

How does the Graduate Scheme work?

We offer a 3-year course, beginning with one year in a Graduate Legal Assistant role. Here, you will be exposed to a variety of work across different departments.

Six months into your first year, you will be able to apply to undertake your solicitor training.

Upon successful application, in Years 2 and 3, you’ll work as a Trainee Solicitor and gain experience in multiple seats across the firm. You will study for and sit the Solicitor Qualification Exams (SQE) alongside your work.

In your second year, you'll study for and sit your SQE1 exams. In your third year, you will study SQE2 and ultimately qualify as a solicitor.

You can find out more about how the scheme works on our dedicated Graduate Scheme page here.

Karen Edwards on ‘investing in the next generation of lawyers’

Karen Edwards heads up our trainee programme and oversees the recruitment process alongside Ben Cobb. She said:

“With the SQE becoming the preferred route to qualification, this presented a real opportunity for us to increase our investment in the next generation of lawyers.

We made a concerted effort to introduce what we know to be a really competitive Graduate Scheme, with the aim of enticing a cohort of enthusiastic students.

Our growth targets for the coming years are ambitious. The Graduate Scheme, which will bring in and qualify trainees, is set to be at the heart of the firm’s progression going forwards.”

Karen completed her training contract at the firm in 2011 and, after a series of promotions, was made Partner early last year. She is therefore a fantastic example of where a training contract can take you at Frettens.

What is the Graduate Scheme at Frettens like?

Zoe Burcombe, James Privett and Katelyn Webster were the first to join Frettens’ all new Graduate Scheme and are in the process of completing their first year.

In this year, they have worked as Graduate Legal Assistants in our Conveyancing, Commercial Property and Family Teams respectively.

They will now move on to the second year, where they’ll work as trainees whilst completing the SQE.

We asked them a couple of questions about their experience with the Graduate Scheme and their advice for anyone who’s looking to qualify. You can read what they said here.

How to apply

We are looking for three Graduate Legal Assistants to start with us in September. To apply, please email your CV and covering letter to Catharine Snow, our Operations Manager, at

If you’d like to find out more first, you can give us a call on 01202 499255; we’d be happy to chat with you.

Applications close at the end of April.

What is it like to work at Frettens?

We are a progressive and ambitious firm and have worked hard to create an environment that is flexible, fulfilling, and fun. That's why we've been accredited by Best Companies.

Last year, we received our highest ever results; ranking as a Top 5 Law Firm to work for and in the Top 10 best companies in the South West.

You can read more about our best companies results here.

At Frettens, you get the best of both worlds. You get to experience a broad range of private and commercial work, but also get to know all of your colleagues in a collaborative environment.

We are a full-service firm but aren’t a huge corporate. We currently have just over 90 staff and believe we provide the best alternative to the large regional firms in the conurbation for both clients and colleagues.

Read more about what it is like to work at Frettens here.

Careers at Frettens

We believe in investing in people. Whether that’s bringing on new, bright and ambitious faces; or giving existing staff the opportunity to shine.

We are still looking to expand, with open positions in a variety of different departments across the firm.

If you’re interested in working somewhere that is trusting, communicative, offers opportunity for career progression and is a little different, then look no further.

You can view our current vacancies here or, if you can’t find the role for you, you can get in touch with our Operations Manager Catharine Snow here.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.