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 2016/17. Please note that the practice year runs from 1 November - 31 October each year. We release updated statistics annually in January.

Overview of 2016/17 trainee statistics

At a high level, this year's figures are broadly in line with last year:

  • 543 traineeships commenced in the practice year 2016/17, representing an insignificant -1% change on the 2015/16 figures.

  • The total number of traineeships has remained relatively static over the past four years, suggesting stability in the traineeship market.

  • 91% of those admitted in the last pratice year are now employed as a solicitor, in-line with last year's figure.

  • 11% of traineeships are in-house, in line with previous years.

  • 75% of traineeships commenced in the central belt, whereas in 2015/16 the figure was at 80%.

  • 58 traineeships are registered at a firm with one partner, representing a 26% rise on last year's figure.

  • The number of traineeships in the Highlands & Islands region has more than doubled, increasing from 9 in 2015/16 to 19 this 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 226 7411

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.