Frettens launch all new Graduate Scheme

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.

Following on from this, 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 BurcombeJames 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.

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