When you’re on £97k a year, is this really necessary?
A “corporate lawyer” claiming to be a Cambridge educated Weil Gotshal & Manges trainee is flogging training contract advice online for £45 an hour.
An advert (pictured below) promoting the advice was posted on classifieds website Gumtree last week.
The person behind the ad claims to have read law at Cambridge University and to be currently working for “one of the top corporate law firms in the world”.
Curious, Legal Cheek used a hotmail address to reach out to the unnamed solicitor to find out more information.
Responding to the inquiry, the individual declined to reveal their true identity. However, they were willing to confirm they had chosen to train at a leading US firm in the City of London. They also confirmed that the service was not free and that they would be billing their time out at a hefty £45 an hour.
Probing further — under the guise of a financially-strapped student — Legal Cheek was keen to find out which US firm our mystery lawyer worked for.
It was at this point that the self-styled training contract guru — who uses the Gumtree username “Abgail” — claimed to be a current trainee at corporate powerhouse Weil Gotshal & Manges.
The firm, which offers around 15 training contracts annually, pays its first year trainees £41,000. This rises to a staggering £97,000 upon qualification.
Continuing their sales pitch, “Abgail” claimed to be “quite involved” with the firm’s graduate recruitment process.
The advert — which was swiftly removed after Legal Cheek contacted Weil Gotshal’s London office for comment — will no doubt raise a few eyebrows with fellow City lawyers.
Firstly, with junior lawyers at US firms traditionally working incredibly long hours, it’s impressive to find one with so much free time on their hands. Secondly, with Weil lawyers among the top earners in the City it’s somewhat strange that one would take to Gumtree in a bid to earn an extra few quid.
Yet it wouldn’t be the first time that a big-earning junior solicitor has attempted to generate cash on the side from desperate students. Two years ago a trainee at magic circle firm Freshfields was exposed by Legal Cheek for selling training contract application advice in packages priced between £35 and £150 via a website called “Nail That Training Contract”. Months later it emerged that a Kennedys lawyer was flogging Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course notes to students.
Weil Gotshal & Manges did not respond to Legal Cheek’s request for comment.