A solicitor at a Huddersfield law firm has become one of the first in the country to qualify after studying under a new route introduced in 2021 designed to help candidates from non-traditional legal backgrounds get into law.

Brittany Clark, a solicitor at Denby Dale-based Holden Smith, has qualified after two years studying the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

During her studies at The University of Law (ULaw), Ms Clark also worked at Holden Smith to prepare for the two-stage SQE assessment while bolstering and developing her skills working in legal practice.

Ms Clark said: “I’m delighted to be one of the first in the UK to qualify as a solicitor via this new route.

“The SQE has revolutionised the way in which solicitors can train, promoting social mobility and diversity in the legal profession, and opening the doors of a career in law to people who may not have considered it, or thought it was out of reach.

“Qualifying via this route meant I was able to gain valuable, on-the-job experience and learn from my colleagues at Holden Smith, while also earning a salary from day one.”

James Smith, co-founder and director at Holden Smith, said: “Until recently, the route into a career in law has been very prescriptive, but things have moved on.

“At Holden Smith, we welcomed the introduction of the SQE because being able to recruit solicitors from a diverse talent pool is key to the future of our practice.”

Holden Smith, which employs over 100 people across four offices, was founded in 2019 by directors James Smith and David Bancroft.