Statistics for numbers of trainees recruited in recent years, and advice to those currently looking for traineeships

The Society registered 427 training contracts as commencing during 2009. The figure is 72% of the total of 592 begun during 2008, which was itself down 6% on the 2007 figure of 629.

The charts show the pattern of recruitment over the previous decade and the geographical breakdown of recruitment. Some 60% of traineeships are at firms with 11 or more partners.

Katie Meanley, manager, Registrar’s Department, whose remit includes overseeing traineeships, said: “2009 was certainly a challenging year for trainees, as it was for many in the profession. The traineeship jobs market was, and remains highly competitive.

“It was encouraging to see how some firms and trainees have collaborated on more creative traineeships, including firms sharing trainees, and it was particularly encouraging that some firms took on a trainee for the first time in 2009.”

She added that the Society is suggesting to people still looking for traineeships that they may wish to consider approaching firms or organisations in rural areas, where they may have the opportunity to gain experience in two or three areas of law.

“We are also saying to people that speculative applications made should be tailored to the targeted firms or organisations, and that wherever possible they should keep up their knowledge of their particular area of interest by thinking of taking up work experience or volunteer work which is relevant.

“The Society will continue to offer help and support to people looking for traineeships through our New Lawyers Engagement Strategy, by keeping them up to date on events and providing advice on how they can help secure a traineeship. Our jobs website,, now has a dedicated section for traineeships and summer placements. We also offer advice to firms or organisations who may be considering taking on a trainee about the benefits of doing so, and there is support from the Society for those who do employ trainees, whether for the first time or on an ongoing basis.”

Katie Meanley can be contacted by phone for confidential advice relating to traineeships on 0131 476 8105/8200.

A reminder: The Society now has a recruitment portal for traineeships and student summer placements, where training organisations can post vacancies free. The site, which is currently being promoted to students, graduates and training organisations, has a number of other benefits for recruiters, such as an advertisement tracking and administration system and the ability to direct candidates to apply in a way that suits the organisation’s recruitment practices. See, and Journal, December 2009, 22.

For charts and diagrams please refer to magazine or download the PDF.

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