Since the turn of the year we have seen an increase in the numbers of trainee solicitors contacting us for support and have also seen public commentary about the quality of training undertaken at a small number of practice units.

The committees involved with education and training and admissions met on 3 March 2022 and discussed how the society can help ensure that training managers meet their obligations under the training manager guidance. This week we will be contacting all training managers directly to engage with them on this issue.

As well as this, in the near future we will be surveying training managers and trainees on their experiences of training and, depending on feedback, determine if there is anything we can do to better support all involved in the training process.

The committees are aware of and understand the challenging circumstances many practitioners are facing at present. Whilst we accept and understand these difficulties, we must stress there is still an obligation to train and to allocate work responsibly.

We recommend to training managers that they consider the following documents and review them routinely throughout the training process:

It should go without saying that bullying and harassment has no place in the legal profession or in legal training. Such behaviour would be classed as professional misconduct that could lead to disciplinary action. The focus of a traineeship should be on providing the next generation of solicitors with meaningful, quality work in a supportive environment.

We would urge any trainees who are experiencing difficulties in their traineeship to speak to us. This can be anonymous and confidential if you would prefer. We would also highlight the Lawscot Wellbeing resources and LawCare as places where help may be found.

Two women sat at a desk in an office, both looking at a laptop screen

What can/can't you do as a trainee?

It is essential that trainees and supervisors familiarise themselves with this trainee guidance, which clarifies what work can and cannot be carried out during the traineeship.

Navy blue background with illustrations of people and speech bubbles

Guide to preventing bullying and harassment

Practical and relevant advice and sources of support for individual and employers to help prevent bullying and harassment occurring and deal effectively with any instances which do occur.

Rob Marrs

How to support a struggling trainee

Our Head of Education Rob Marrs offers his top tips and advice on how training supervisors can support a trainee who is struggling, prevent the situation from deteriorating (or even happening in the first place) and help them on their way to qualification.