ADVICE: ‘Which Training Contract Offer Should I Accept?!’

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UPDATE 4pm: XXX chose the London firm

LPC graduate XXX XXXX (name removed) is facing a life-changing decision.

XXXX has two training contract offers. But he must make up his mind about which one to accept by 4pm today.

One is at an exciting new firm in Leeds. It’s small, but has big dreams.

The other is with an established London media law firm – where XXXX would be first required to complete a week’s work placement to establish that he fits in.

Which should he choose?

Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge, who is a slave to quasi-religious hippy mantras, urges XXXX to follow the slogan written on his favourite T-shirt: “Be guided by love not fear”.

Meanwhile, Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor Kevin Poulter likens XXXX’s dilemma to having to elect between a “juicy satsuma hanging from the tree” and a “pink lady apple lying on the floor waiting to be devoured”.

“It’s much easier when you put it like that,” says XXXX – who co-runs LawPod in his spare time – but he’s still undecided.

Listen to the trio discuss XXXX’s dilemma on the podcast below (and on iTunes) – and give the poor lad some advice, before it’s too late…

Podcast removed.


A. Partridge

Gateley vs Olswang?



He’s only really got one firm offer and one conditional one. That he’s finding it hard to choose suggests that there’s a risk that he won’t fit in at the London firm and so choosing it could leave him without a training contract.

However, I’d be very wary of going to a start up unless it was part of a larger firm and that it was clear that they would send you to other offices for some of your seats if your choice of practice area wasn’t available at the time in Leeds. Having myself been for 3 years in the start up phase of a new office in Leeds at a much more senior level I know that in the early days such offices are far from being full service and might well not have a lot to give trainees in some seats. So do your due diligence to see how many people ther are in at least the department you’ll be doing your first seat at and get confirmation about your freedom to move to other offices for other seats. Last thing you want is to find that you just get the seats that no one wants in the other offices and that the seats in Leeds give insufficient experience.

Unless they can give a good set of assurances about the quality of your training and your overall parity of opportunity with trainees in other offices taking the risk on the London firm might be the best bet.


Thomas Hurst

It doesn’t sound like a tough choice. As Batzarelli says, above, the London one is not really an offer, it all depends on your weeks placement by which time the Leeds role may have gone. We are not really in an era where you can sniff at concrete job offers, there are many who would love to have the offer you have!

Whilst London is a great city you need to decide what you want from life. Leeds will offer you a far better work/life balance. Leeds also has lots of things going for it one key thing being you can breath fresh air when you leave the office! I’ve worked in London and Leeds and it is no coincidence that there are lots of lawyers leaving London for the regions.


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