The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) Career Development Office (CDO) now offers the Apprentice Program, an initiative designed to meet the needs of busy small law firms and provide upper-level law students additional experience with real-world legal work. By participating in the Apprentice Program, your firm can hire a law clerk at a reduced cost while providing meaningful, real-world experience to a law student.
Eligibility: The Apprentice Program is open to firms with four or fewer attorneys. Firms should be willing to give their apprentice hands-on legal experience and mentoring. Firms can participate in the program for no more than two consecutive semesters at a time (e.g., if your firm participates in the summer and fall programs, your firm is not eligible for the following spring program, but is eligible to register to participate again in the next summer program). In order to remain eligible during the consectutive semesters, firms must reapply by posting a job in our online Job Bank during the application period.
Compensation: The hourly wage for students in the program is $16 per hour, split evenly between the firm and UHLC. Once you hire a student through the Apprentice Program and submit an initial invoice, UHLC will advance their half of the hourly wages for a four-week period, so your firm can pay the student every two weeks. After that initial compensation, your firm must submit an invoice (just like billing a client) to the CDO every other week to receive reimbursement.
- Fall or Spring Program: During fall or spring, UHLC will subsidize wages for one apprentice for a 12-week period, for up to 15 hours per week.
- Summer Program: During the summer, UHLC will subsidize wages for a 6-to-8-week period for up to 30 hours per week.
- Additional hours or wages: Participating firms are welcome to make further arrangements with their apprentice if they want more hours per week, or if they want to offer a higher hourly wage; however, UHLC will only compensate the firm $8 per hour for up to the hourly and weekly limit.
- Eligible firms may register for the Apprentice Program by posting a job in our online Job Bank each semester of participation. Detailed instructions on how to post a job in the Job Bank can be found here.
- Eligible firms must select "Apprenticeship" under the "Position Type " section of the job posting.
- In the "Job Description" box, please be sure to include how this position will provide hands-on legal experience and mentoring for the apprentice. You can include elements such as the types of substantive legal projects the apprentice will work on and shadowing assignments for observing and mentoring.
- The CDO will review all applications to the Apprentice Program and if approved, the job posting will be placed in our online Job Bank under the Apprentice Program banner.
Once the job posting is approved under the Apprentice Program, the job posting will remain active for 30 days in the Job Bank and firms will be able to review applications and set up interviews with promising candidates.
Firms will have up to 21 days after the job posting expires to review applications, interview candidates, and select an apprentice. You may hire only one apprentice per semester. However, you are free to hire as many additional interns outside of the Apprentice Program as you like.
Once a firm selects and hires an apprentice, the CDO will provide the appropriate paperwork to the firm to confirm adherence to Apprentice Program rules and set up compensation procedures.
Apprentice Program slots are filled on a rolling basis throughout each semester. UHLC reserves the right to limit participation, including limiting the number of participating firms with the same practice area.
Registration for the Apprentice Program occurs year-round. Applications received during the following time periods will be considered for the corresponding Apprentice Programs:
- For each semester, there are only 10 Apprentice Program slots available.
- Once the CDO has received 10 applications for an applicable semester, the Apprentice Program registration will close.
- If you submit an application once the Apprentice Program registration has closed, you can elect to 1) be placed on our waiting list, 2) place your position in the job bank outside of the Apprentice Program, or 3) request both options 1 and 2.
- If you have asked to be placed on our waiting list and a position becomes available, we will contact you to see if you are still interested in being a part of the program.
- July 1 through Sept. 1 – Fall Apprentice Program
- Sept. 1 through Jan. 1 – Spring Apprentice Program
- Jan. 1 through June 1 – Summer Apprentice Program
To learn more about the Apprentice Program or to inquire about participating, please contact Kecia Branch in the CDO.