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FAILING TO SECURE A


TRAINING CONTACT? DON’T BLAME THE STATISTICS


At the end of July, the majority of law firms will close their applications for training contracts starting in 2013/14. With more than 30,000 students currently vying for around 5,000 training contracts, the competition for places is intense.*


A recent survey of 24,000 aspiring lawyers conducted by AllAboutCareers.com reveals that students and graduates are now also much more inclined to become trainee solicitors than trainee barristers. Indeed, a whopping 49% of the students that took part in the study hope to become solicitors, while only 19% intend to become barristers.


These statistics might seem daunting for would-be solicitors; however, it’s important to realise that plenty of the students and graduates in the race for training contracts are hindered by an inadequate level of academic achievement, a lack of relevant work experience, and a lacklustre approach to completing training contract applications.


Many law firms now expect candidates to have a 2:1 (or higher) at undergraduate level, 300 UCAS points, and evidence of a vacation


scheme or other legal work experience on their CV.


Claire England, Graduate Recruitment & Trainee Manager at Berwin Leighton Paisner, said:


“We do expect successful applicants to be on track for a 2:1, but we are also looking for people with a rounded personality; demonstrating what you have done outside of academia will help with this.”


“Work experience is an excellent way for you to demonstrate that you have the transferable skills we are looking for, and that you’re committed to a legal career.”


The number of training contracts on


offer has actually increased in recent years. In 2009-2010, 4,874 new traineeships were registered with the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA), while 5,441 were registered in 2010-2011.*


Consequently, if aspiring solicitors tick the right boxes with regard to academic achievement and legal work experience, and then put in the effort required to write focused and well-researched applications, they will have a fantastic chance of securing a training contract. Amelia Spinks, Graduate Recruitment Manager at Field Fisher Waterhouse, said:


“We find that people who dedicate more time to researching the


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