Latest figures show there has been a rise in the number of traineeships offered by sole practitioners and at firms in the Highlands and Islands.

Overall, numbers of legal traineeships registered with the Law Society of Scotland have remained consistent in each of the last four practice years. 543 traineeships commenced in practice year 2016/2017, a slight drop on the 549 registered in the previous year.  75% of these were in the central belt - which compares to 80% in the previous year.

Traineeships in Highlands and Islands have more than doubled from nine to 19 - a positive indicator for this region and businesses in more rural areas.

The report also reveals that 58 traineeships are registered with sole partner firms.  This represents a 26% rise on last year's number, while the proportion of in-house traineeships remains constant at 11%.

The gender split of solicitors admitted in 2016/2017 is also unchanged from the previous practice year, with women accounting for 65% of solicitors admitted.

Katie Wood, Head of Admissions at the Law Society of Scotland, said: "Our annual trainee statistics are a great way for us to take a temperature check on entry to the profession and a useful resource for those interested and involved in law.   

“Most measurements for this practice year are broadly consistent with recent years, which is encouraging for solicitors, trainees, students and the Law Society. The metrics for firms with one partner and those in the Highlands and Islands are particularly positive, both of which have generated significantly more traineeships than last year.”

“One of the most positive indicators emerging from this set of figures, is that the vast majority of those admitted in the last year, at 91%, are now employed as solicitors.

“This is great news for those who are newly qualified, but as always, it is a competitive marketplace and we would remind aspiring solicitors to make full use of our careers advice for newly qualified solicitors and for those looking for a traineeship.

“And for employers considering taking on a trainee we provide a full suite of information and advice on what’s involved.

“Those offering traineeships often see financial benefits and trainees can offer a range of new and complementary skills to the firms in which they are placed.  Flexible traineeships, such as sharing a trainee with another firm or offering a part-time traineeship, can provide workable options for some employers. 

“Again we are keen to support anyone interested in taking on a trainee and would encourage them to consult our website or get in touch with our Education, Training and Qualifications team.  We will be happy to hear from you.” 

Trainee statistics

Get a feel for the traineeship market by reading our annual statistics on trainee employers, gender split and admissions.