DLA Piper associate offers training contract ‘coaching’ and ‘guidance’ at £40 an hour
Edinburgh-based lawyer and former White & Case trainee sells application advice online
A corporate lawyer at global giant DLA Piper is offering training contract applicants “coaching” and “guidance” at £40 an hour.
Continuing a trend of junior lawyers trying to earn a little extra cash, an associate at DLA Piper’s Edinburgh office used classified ads website Gumtree to offer law students struggling to obtain a training contract her “wealth of experience”.
The associate — who Legal Cheek sees no need to name — claims to have interviewed “successfully” at “US and magic circle firms”. Having obtained a training contract in 2008 at the London office of US firm White & Case — whose current cohort of newly qualified (NQ) lawyers take home a hefty £90,000 a year — she proudly trumpets on her advert:
I am confident I will be able to assist law graduates reach their maximum potential.
The advert (screenshot below) — which was swiftly removed after Legal Cheek contacted DLA Piper for comment — featured a large accompanying headshot of the female lawyer.
Keen to find out more about our mystery training contract expert, Legal Cheek used a hotmail address to reach out to the solicitor.
During an email exchange (screenshot below) the lawyer revealed that she had obtained a 2:1 in French and Portuguese from the University of Nottingham. Before embarking on the in Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the then College of Law, she had completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Nottingham Law School, obtaining a commendation in both.
The DLA Piper lawyer continued her impressive sales pitch, claiming to have spent six months at the White & Case São Paulo office in Brazil, before leaving the New York-headquartered giants to spend two years at a London-based private equity firm.
Happy to reveal that she is a current associate based in the corporate team of DLA Piper’s Edinburgh office, she helpfully offered to conduct sessions via Skype or FaceTime.
DLA Piper — which offers around 80 training contracts annually — pays its Scotland-based NQs £36,000 a year. However, with our self-styled training contract guru having several years experience under her belt, she is likely to command a much higher salary.
A DLA Piper spokesperson told Legal Cheek:
The post was only made a few days ago and it has now been removed. It was an error of judgment and upon realising this the individual apologises unreservedly.
With this latest lawyer offering legal expertise at £40 a pop to desperate law students, a worrying trend is beginning to emerge.
Two years ago Legal Cheek exposed a trainee at magic circle giant Freshfileds who was selling training contract application advice for up to £150 a time. Not long after, a Kennedys lawyer was caught flogging GDL and LPC notes to under-prepared law students. And only a few months ago, a Cambridge-educated trainee at Weil Gotshal & Manges who was set to earn as much as £97,000 a year was caught flogging training contract advice for £45 an hour.