Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships

Joanna’s work as a champion of solicitor apprenticeships was recognised in the 2023 Department for Education National Apprenticeship Awards; she offers something unique because she is entirely focused on solicitor apprenticeships, informed by her 25-year legal career at a large international law firm, her work launching solicitor apprenticeships there, and a deep knowledge of socio-economic diversity in law. Her commitment to both apprenticeships and social mobility is recognised by her appointment as a judge in the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards and the UK Social Mobility Awards.

Joanna offers three core services:

  1. solicitor apprenticeship set-up
  2. solicitor apprenticeship mentoring
  3. solicitor apprenticeship networking

You no doubt already have excellent Graduate Recruitment and Early Talent teams, but the attraction and recruitment of solicitor apprentices, and pastoral care post offer requires a different approach. Joanna can help you with this. From her professional and volunteer work, Joanna is aware that mentoring and networking will have an increasing focus in the City in the months and years to come, and so mentoring and networking are offered as core services in addition to solicitor apprenticeship programme set-up.

Joanna’s services and this website are intended for law firms and in-house legal counsel, not aspiring solicitor apprentices. There are many fantastic resources for students out there already!

About Joanna Hughes

About Joanna

Having been a lawyer at a large international law firm for 25 years, and an active voice for socio-economic diversity in the legal profession, Joanna now advises law firms and others on setting up and running solicitor apprenticeship programmes.

Throughout 2021 Joanna worked with the Early Careers Partner at her previous law firm to co-lead the launch of a solicitor apprenticeship programme. She covered all work streams, including outreach and attraction of talent, recruitment, and the design both of the programme within legal and other practice groups and support for the apprentices.

Advice on solicitor apprenticeship programmes includes advice on mentoring and networking for apprentices post-offer. Joanna was the 2020 UK Social Mobility Awards Mentor of the Year,and is a strong advocate for the power of mentoring in the legal profession. She also has two decades of experience of mentoring professionals and young people.

Joanna works near Liverpool Street, and is always available for in-person meetings in the City or Canary Wharf as well as for video calls.

Do connect with Joanna on LinkedIn – she talks a lot there about solicitor apprenticeships and socio-economic diversity in the legal profession.

“Joanna was a fantastic co-lead in the launch of the Allen & Overy solicitor apprenticeship programme”

James Partridge

Early Careers Partner and Training Principal at Allen & Overy

“Joanna is a pleasure to work with and cares deeply about socio-economic diversity in the legal profession” 

I. Stephanie Boyce

President of the Law Society 2021 to 2022

What makes Joanna unique is her connection with people. Her ability to nurture diverse talent and lead impactful initiatives sets her apart. This is the reason she is so highly regarded

Justin Farrance

Founder of GROW Mentoring

“Joanna has been a very valuable member of the Taskforce Working Group, and we have enjoyed working with her”


Catherine McGuinness CBE

Former Policy Chair of the City of London Corporation and Chair of the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce

Solicitor Apprenticeship Set Up

Solicitor Apprenticeship Set-Up

Joanna can assist with all work streams including choice of training provider, outreach and attraction of talent, recruitment and design of the solicitor apprentice programme

Solicitor Apprenticeship Mentoring

Solicitor Apprenticeship Mentoring

Mentors play a big part in the wellbeing of solicitor apprentices. Independent mentoring outside the solicitor apprentice’s employer can be helpful, even before they arrive

Solicitor Apprenticeship Networking

Solicitor Apprenticeship Networking

Networks are important early in a legal career, and Joanna can help you connect your solicitor apprentices to all available networks and opportunities, or to  create new ones

Apprenticeship Ambassador Network
Ladder for Greater Birmingham
Multicultural Apprenticeships Awards
Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance

Book a call with Joanna if you would like some advice