Key facts

A trainee can be a really important asset to your business and taking someone on to complete their training is an invaluable way of supporting the future of the legal profession. The traineeship is the two-year, work-based training which forms the final part of the route to qualification. 

Taking on a trainee works in the same way whether you work for an in-house organisation, or for a firm.

A lot of the administrative side of the traineeship falls to the trainee to complete. During the course of these two years, there are certain things which your trainee must do, including:

FAQs

If you have held a full, unrestricted practising certificate for three years, you can supervise a trainee. If you have not already done so, you will need to appoint a training manager for the firm or organisation. Find out more about who can act as a training manager and their responsibilities here. There is no need to inform us of your intention to employ a trainee, but you can contact us if you have any queries about trainees or traineeships.

The trainee should have a valid entrance certificate, issued by us. This should be applied for at least four weeks before the start of training. Both the trainee and the firm should complete a training contract and return it to us within 28 days of the start of training. At the end of the training, the training manager must discharge the training contract.

Every year our Council will recommend a rate for trainee salaries, which is updated on this page. The rates are reviewed annually in June. All trainees must be paid at or above the Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation.

Registration of training contract - £50

Admission – around £350 + the cost of a Disclosure Scotland check for admission as a solicitor and notary public (please note that costs change on a regular basis so check with legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk for up to date information)

Practising certificate - visit our fees page for more information

Required Continuing Professional Development - the cost of this will depend upon the trainee CPD undertaken.

Professional Education and Training Stage 2 Quarterly Performance Reviews (PQPRs) must be carried out and submitted to us. These are effectively a quarterly appraisal and the onus is on the trainee to make sure they have prepared. Supervisors should be prepared to offer support and guidance to ensure the trainee is getting the exposure to different areas of work they need and developing at the required standard.

Trainees must also complete a reflective log detailing the Professional Education and Training Stage 2 (PEAT 2) Outcomes that they have achieved as a result of their work. Both of these form the ongoing assessment process known as the 'standard of the qualifying solicitor'. Trainees must also complete 60 hours of required CPD during their traineeship.

A trainee can, subject to satisfactory progress and with the agreement of the training firm, apply to be admitted as a solicitor during the traineeship. This can take place:

  • Between months three - 11, provided required sitting-in and an advocacy course have been undertaken;
  • After one year.

Trainees can also apply for admission to the roll of solicitors at the end of the traineeship, when their training contract is discharged. Find out more about admission during the traineeship here.

We have a policy on the termination of training contracts for the reason of redundancy based on QC opinion. The policy statement is clear that training contracts cannot be terminated by employers for the reason of redundancy and other avenues should be considered prior to redundancy. The only organisation who can terminate a training contract is the Law Society of Scotland.

We understand that the current situation may lead to less work for trainee solicitors to undertake. Organisations may wish to consider utilising funding via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Training units are encouraged to read the policy statement and consider all other options prior to redundancy. If having done so, they wish to make a trainee solicitor redundant, they are required to make an application to the Admissions Sub-Committee of the Law Society of Scotland.

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Remote supervision of trainees

As working practices evolve, more trainees may work remotely which requires a new approach to the traditional methods of supervision. Here are some hints and tips for supervisors and training managers to support trainees effectively.

Contact us

For any questions relating to the traineeship, please contact the Education, Training and Qualifications Department at legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk or 0131 226 7411 (option 3).

Contact our careers team who would be happy to help, at careers@lawscot.org.uk or on 0131 476 8203.