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Solicitor traineeship numbers in Scotland “continue to rise”

20 January 2016 | tagged News release

The Law Society of Scotland has reported a continued rise in the number of traineeships available for aspiring solicitors.

Following an 11% rise the previous year, a 2% rise in the number of traineeships started in 2014/15 indicates prospects remain encouraging for Scotland’s future lawyers. The statistics also show a 3% increase in the number of traineeship contracts offered outside of the Central Belt area, a total of 25% compared to 22% in 2013/14.

The newly published statistics from the Law Society also show that:

  • 88% of trainees admitted in the last practice year are currently employed as solicitors (a decrease on the 93% last year)
  • 11% of traineeships are in house, a slight decrease on the proportion last year (12%)
  • 75% of traineeships are in the Central Belt, a slight drop on last year’s 78%
  • 63% of solicitors admitted over the last five years are female
  • There are 691 PEAT 1 (post-graduate diploma stage) students who started in academic year 2014/15 compared to 541 the previous academic year

Katie Wood, Head of Admissions at the Law Society of Scotland, said: "It’s encouraging to see the number of training contracts continue to rise, particularly those on offer outside of the Central Belt. Although the number of recently qualified trainees being employed as solicitors has decreased, the prospects for aspiring solicitors remain relatively steady.

"The Society’s traineeship statistics are a useful indicator for people considering the next step in pursuing a career as a solicitor, in particular those thinking of doing the PEAT 1Diploma in Professional Legal Practice or currently on the diploma and looking for a traineeship. Those seeking traineeships should be encouraged by the latest statistics, however it is still a competitive market and there’s been a 28% increase in students starting the diploma this year which could lead to increased competition for traineeships in the next few years. Aspiring solicitors should continue to follow our careers advice regarding looking for a traineeship.

“Our advice for employers on taking on a trainee provides a factual look at what's involved and offers insight into some of the main benefits of offering traineeships – from the financial contribution trainees can make to the firms to new skills they can bring. Flexible traineeships, such as sharing a trainee with another firm or offering a part-time traineeship, can provide a good option for some firms. I would encourage anyone interested in taking on a trainee to look at the information we have provided on our website and to get in touch if they have further questions.”

ENDS                                                                          20 January 2016

Notes to editors:

The full traineeship statistics can be found on the website at: /education-and-careers/studying-law/currently-studying-the-llb/information-about-traineeship-numbers/

The statistics have been generated by the Registrar’s Department in relation to the number of traineeships that the Society registered in the practice year 2014/15. The Society publishes all statistics based on the practice year, which runs from 1 November to 31 October each year. These statistics are generated on an annual basis.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Journalists can contact Sarah Sutton at or Val McEwan at

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