Browne Jacobson’s apprenticeship pioneer receives national award

Sally Swift (with Tom Baker, partner at DAC Beachcroft and actress Sally Phillips).

Sally Swift, Head of Legal Support Services at Nottingham firm Browne Jacobson, has received a national award for her commitment to promoting lifelong learning and improving greater access to the legal profession.

The ‘Supporting Lifelong Learning Award’ was presented to Sally by The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) at its inaugural awards initiative which recognises and celebrates the work and achievements of professionals who have promoted access to the legal profession.

After joining Browne Jacobson in 2012, Sally pioneered one of the country’s first legal apprenticeship schemes at the firm’s Nottingham office. To date the firm’s programme has supported more than 20 young people in entering the profession.

Since its launch Sally has gone on play a pivotal role in shaping how the firm develops and nurtures new and existing talent. She has also gone on to advise government, the Department for Education and Skills for Justice on developing nationally recognised apprenticeship standards in partnership with bodies such as CILEx, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society.

She has also worked closely with business and educational organisations such as the CBI and Nottingham Trent University as well as local schools across Nottinghamshire promoting apprenticeships as a viable route into the profession.

Sally Swift said: “I was thrilled to receive the award.  CILEx lead the way in changing the profession, making it diverse, inclusive and accessible to all.  To be recognised by them is an absolute honour!  I’m inspired daily by the wonderful apprentices I work alongside, supporting their development, watching their careers flourish is a joy!”

Earlier this year Browne Jacobson announced the launch of a new apprenticeship programme that will see 100+ apprenticeship positions being offered across the firm’s offices and will see the firm invest 100% of its apprenticeship levy into the new programmes.

Iain Blatherwick, Managing Partner at Browne Jacobson, added: “This award is a fitting recognition of Sally’s work and commitment to social mobility, mentoring and lifelong learning within the legal profession, both at Browne Jacobson and on the national stage and we are delighted that she is the inaugural recipient of this award.”

Cassie Williams, Chair of the Legal T panel at Department for Education, said: “Sally is a key member of the Legal T panel and her commitment to ensuring that young people get the best start in a career in the legal and business world is exceptional.”

Di McEvoy-Robinson, Joint Owner at 3aaa, said: “Sally’s commitment to lifelong learning for all and to seeing apprenticeships as a fantastic opportunity for colleagues of all ages to learn has been inspirational.”