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At Least You’re Not an Italian Trainee Lawyer…

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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:

“I have just graduated in law and I started a traineeship in a law firm near my hometown, Viterbo. Of course, they are not even paying me expenses. The only people I know who are getting paid during their traineeship are lawyers’ children. They go to their parents’ law firm and they get paid. With [Italian Prime Minister Mario] Monti’s talk about liberalising the professions, everything is still more unclear for us. They’re even talking about getting rid of the traineeship. It’s going to be very confusing.”

Despite the myriad of inequalities in our legal education and training system, it’s pretty fair in comparison to the often nepotistic goings-on in many countries. Having said that, it’s not uncommon for the offspring of top English lawyers to land plum legal jobs – with Linklaters, for example, recently awarding a training contract to Rupert Cheyne, the son of former senior partner David.

Over all, though, there remains a sense among the students I know that they can make it – albeit perhaps not via training contracts at magic circle firms – if they are sufficiently persistent and hard-working.

Some English students have even begun to enjoy the current uncertainty, according to Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett. “We are embracing change and flux, even to rejoice in it,” one London School of Economics (LSE) student told Tett recently, adding that these days they describe themselves not as Generation X,Y or Z, but as “Gen Flux”.

Were these crazy kids pulling Tett’s leg, or is life these days all about counting your blessings and adjusting to “the new normal”?

1 Comment

ani

The same thing is applicable everywhere: if you have connections you find a traineeship if not it is difficult. However in Luxembourg trainee are very well paid ( 120 000 euros per year or more). They have 2200-5000 euros net per month indemnity for traineeship period and 100 euros per hour net fees for the work on the files. This means that they are extremely well paid like no other country in EUROPE. I remind that they need connections in order to find a job. Their status is of EMPLOYEES and they have no taxes to pay. After the 2 years traineeship they can be independent lawyers when they succeed the final exams ( this is the situation since 2010, there was a reform in 2009 which entered into force on the 1st of MAY 2010).
I wish everyone happiness and good luck.

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