Every year we produce a set of statistics about the traineeship which allow us to take a 'temperature check' of entry to the profession.

These statistics are designed for anyone curious about the traineeship market, whether you're a job seeker trying to get a steer for levels of competition or potential opportunities, or an employer wanting to get a feel for the traineeship market.

These statistics represent the number of traineeships that the Law Society of Scotland registered in the practice year 2020/21. Please note that the practice year runs from 1 November - 31 October each year. We release updated statistics annually in January/ February.

Overview of 2020/21 trainee statistics

This year's figures have increased notably from last year.

  • 744 traineeships commenced in the practice year 2020/21, compared to 434 in 2019/20, representing a 71% increase.  Many of these seemingly additional traineeships will have been deferred from 2019/20.
  • In-house traineeship numbers accounted for 12% of traineeships compared to 17% last year. However, due to the unusually large number of traineeships commenced in 200/21, in real terms, it was an increase of 19 traineeships (from 73 to 91).
  • The gender split for traineeships commenced in 2020/21 was 67% female and 33% male.  This is reflective of the previous four years (65-68% female and 32-35% male).
  • The percentage of traineeships commenced at firms with 1-5 partners was 34% with 31% being commenced at firms with 31+ partners.  This is relatively consistent with previous years.
  • For the first time, the 2020-21 trainee statistics show the training contracts commenced by local authority area.  Previously, statistics were grouped into much larger geographical areas.


The infographics below give more of an illustrative picture about trends and more specific data. 

Problems viewing the charts below? You may need to update your browser. Or, you can download a PDF version of our trainee statistics here.

Additional information

If you would like to discuss any aspect of our traineeship statistics, please contact our careers@lawscot.org.uk. Or, if you would like to discuss any aspect of the traineeship more generally, please contact legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk.

The traineeship

Finish your legal education by learning 'on the job' working as a trainee under the supervision of a Scots-qualified solicitor. Traineeships last for a period of two years and, after its successful completion, you are ready to apply to take out a solicitor's practising certificate.