Training contracts

Welcome To The ‘Envy Economy’ Of City Law Firms

I spend my days in the office listening to management speak. When I’m not going forward, I’m circling back. Before touching base, I’m leveraging my talent to provide solutions. And if that fails, I’m actioning a synergistic paradigm shift strategy (acronymised, of course, as ‘SPSS’). But my favourite phrase is ‘economy’, writes TheTraineeComplex…

Feeling Important: Possible As a Trainee Solicitor?

TheTraineeComplex continues his bid to understand life as a City law firm trainee through reference to the work of Sigmund Freud When criticised, Freud used to reply: “You know what, my mother loves me”. What he meant by this was that as long as you feel important to at least one person then what the… Read more »

A G&T With @LegalTrainee Founder Izzy Abidi

Earlier this week I caught up with Eversheds trainee Izzy Abidi – the brains behind award-winning junior lawyer Twitter sensation @LegalTrainee – in Shoreditch’s Commercial Tavern. Acting as a kind of virtual shepherd, @LegalTrainee guides individual Eversheds trainees as they roam through the social media pastures, keeping them loosely in unison, making sure nobody does… Read more »

‘Does Grindr Count As An Extra-Curricular Activity?’

The other day, desperate for something memorable to put in the gaping ‘outside interests’ section of his training contract application form, law student @MoykeG tweeted: “Does Grindr count as an extra-curricular activity?” With the TC application deadline upon us today, Auntie Em (aka Emily Jupp) advises: Dear Moyke, I have asked some friends about this… Read more »

Plan B: If You Can’t Get a TC Or Pupillage, Become An Entrepreneur

The BBC’s Paul ‘I’ve-lived-in-London-for-20-years-but-still-speak-like-a-miner’ Mason is pessimistic about the future of conventional graduate jobs. “The west’s model is broken. It cannot deliver enough high-value work for its highly educated workforce,” he wrote last week. But Mason is encouraged by the initiative shown by the youth of today, who he believes could be saved by their… Read more »

PODCAST: Laying Down On a Bed Of Norton Roses

Success can turn on the smallest of things. Cambridge graduate Marta Sanchez (pictured left) completed her LPC in 2008 having narrowly missed out on a training contract at a magic circle law firm. Then Lehman Brothers collapsed, the TC market dried up and Sanchez ended up working as a maid for Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor… Read more »

Aston Carter Claims BPP Law School Described Its Pay-To-Be-A-Paralegal Scheme As ‘Novel And Inspiring’

Last month, Legal Cheek exclusively revealed that Aston Carter Solicitors was asking law graduates to self-fund a very expensive paralegal course in order to be considered for a training contract with them. Over the weekend, the firm’s senior partner, Henry Telewa, posted a response to the story. In it, he claimed that Alison Wells, director… Read more »

PODCAST: Be Yourself, Not Some ‘Made In Chelsea’ Clone

With Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge on yet another foreign jolly, Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter takes up the podcast reins (yes, podcasts have reins) to deliver a moving soliloquy about his decade-long love affair with legal services. Well, that was the plan until former chair of the Association of Women Solicitors Dawn Dixon… Read more »

Another Facebook ‘Reverse Auction’ For An LPC Place Ends Instantly – With Minimal Savings For Winning Bidder

The National College of Legal Training (NCLT)’s first Facebook ‘reverse auction’, which took place last month, lasted just seconds after a student snapped up the Legal Practice Course (LPC) place at the opening price of £7,200 – much to the disappointment of rival bidders, who had hoped to knock the price down further and net… Read more »

If You Put Trainee Solicitors On Housing Benefits, You Cut The Price Of Law School, Right?

Following the announcement by the Law Society that trainee solicitors on housing benefit is “not the type of image that benefits the profession”, Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter discuss the wisdom of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) proposal to abandon the minimum trainee salary and pay rookie solicitors… Read more »

REVEALED: £30K Buys a TC, £9K a Paralegal Post

Earlier this month, Jonathan Fagan, managing director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment, received an email from a graduate who’d been invited to interview for a paralegal job at a law firm. According to Fagan, the graduate had, in advance, been informed that she had to pay £9,000 to be considered for this role and wanted to… Read more »

The GDL: Too Much Whine, Not Enough Time

Wannabe lawyers need to be more Margaret Thatcher and less Nick Clegg if they are to bag a training contract, says GDL student Kitty Law If I hear any more whining I will not be responsible for my actions. The whining to which I refer emanates from more Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students than… Read more »

An LLM Can ‘Count Against’ Training Contract Hunters

LLMs are intellectually tough, time-consuming and not all law firms like them, warns LegalAware Students often look on an LLM as something they can do to pass a year while they look for a training contract or pupillage, boosting their CVs in the process. But the reality is that a masters degree in law is… Read more »

Has Training Contract Gloom Become Self-Reinforcing?

The atmosphere of negativity in the legal profession towards graduate recruitment is getting out of hand, warns law graduate Cathryn Kozlowski “I’m so sick of all the negative hype about the lack of graduate jobs, I wish someone would just say something positive for once!” a friend – and fellow Manchester University law graduate –… Read more »

At Least You’re Not an Italian Trainee Lawyer…

As English law students worry about the possible scrapping of the minimum trainee solicitor salary, and groan about the miserly £12K minimum award paid to pupil barristers, spare a thought for rookie lawyers in Euro-crisis hit Italy. The other day, 25 year-old trainee lawyer Michela Moretti told the Guardian:

#RoundMyKitchenTable: Aldridge & Poulter Analyse Week’s Legal News

Journalist Alex Aldridge and solicitor Kevin Poulter discuss the week’s legal news over a bottle of Tesco Value red wine around Alex’s kitchen table (pictured). What does former Junior Lawyer Division of the Law Society honcho Poulter think of the proposal to scrap the minimum trainee solicitor salary? How does Aldridge, whose Guardian law column… Read more »

Why Law Graduates Can be Choosers

GDL graduate Cathryn Kozlowski on why she turned down a paralegal job With more and more law graduates working as paralegals before commencing the Legal Practice Course (LPC), the demand for such positions is almost as fierce as for training contracts themselves. The majority of paralegal recruitment companies specify that candidates must have either completed… Read more »

Legal Sector’s January Recovery Looks Brittle

Fundamentals behind recent improved trainee retention rates and pay rises are questionable, says Alex Aldridge One of the pearls of wisdom I’ve gleaned from five years as a journalist covering the legal market is that no one – not even the senior partners of international law firms – really understands what makes the economy go… Read more »

Accutrainee Chief Hits Back at Critics

Follow @Accutrainee Founder of new cut-price training contract scheme responds to recent criticism from Legal Cheek’s Alex Aldridge and Flora Duguid No doubt the new Accutrainee legal training model won’t be right for everyone. But contrary to the opinions expressed by a number of blogs and articles, it can deliver many benefits to both firms… Read more »


This week Alex Aldridge is taking a barely earned rest from uploading blogs to Legal Cheek to go on holiday to Morocco. As he tries to sell Aunty Em for 2 camels and a leather bag, co-host Kevin Poulter takes charge of the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast (for two weeks only), rebranding it #RoundMyDiningTable. Joining him #RoundMyDiningTable… Read more »