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 2017/18. Please note that the practice year runs from 1 November - 31 October each year. We release updated statistics annually in January/ February.

Overview of 2017/18 trainee statistics

This year's figures have slightly increased from previous years.

  • 587 traineeships commenced in the practice year 2017/18, representing an 8% increase on the 2016/17 figures.

  • Over 90% of those admitted in the last pratice year are now employed as a solicitor, in-line with last year's figure.

  • 12% of traineeships are in-house, in line with previous years.

  • 70% of traineeships commenced in the central belt, whereas in 2016/17 the figure was at 75%.

  • 40 traineeships are registered at a firm with 6-10 partners, representing a 60% rise on last year's figure.

  • The number of traineeships registered in Glasgow has risen for the third consecutive year.

  • The number of students commencing the Diploma in 2018/19 was 649, a 6% rise from the previous year. 


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

Additional information

If you would like to discuss any aspect of our traineeship statistics, or the traineeship more generally please contact:

Katie Wood, Head of Admissions at the Law Society of Scotland
0131 476 8162

The traineeship

Finish your legal education by learning 'on the job', by 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.