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 2019/20. Please note that the practice year runs from 1 November - 31 October each year. We release updated statistics annually in January/ February.

Overview of 2019/20 trainee statistics

This year's figures have decreased notably from previous years.

  • 434 traineeships commenced in the practice year 2019/20, compared to 591 in 2018/19, representing a 27% drop year-on-year.
  • Admissions fell 14% from 545 in 2018/19 to 467 in 2019/20, reflecting the high number of trainees placed on furlough in 2020.
  • In-house traineeship numbers held steady at 73 year-on-year, resulting in in-house accounting for 17% of traineeships compared to 12% last year.
  • The gender split for traineeships commenced remains at 68% female and 32% male.
  • The number of traineeships at firms with 1-5 partners is 126 compared to 147 at firms with 31+ partners.
  • Traineeship numbers fell across all regions, except for Great Glasgow, the Lothians, Stirling, and Dumfries & Galloway.


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, or the traineeship more generally please contact:

Education, Training & Qualifications team

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.