Half of Weil Gotshal’s qualifying trainees quit despite receiving NQ job offers

Firm says it’s because roles couldn’t be found in desired practice areas, as rumours swirl about low morale

Weil Gotshal & Manges has retained just half of its London autumn qualifiers despite offering places to all trainees, Legal Cheek can reveal.

Five out of ten newbies will be staying on at the big money US outfit, equating to a retention rate of 50%. This is uncharacteristically low for the firm, which racked up 100% scores in 2015 and 2016.

The firm has put the 50% result down to newly qualified lawyers (NQs) being unable to work in their department of choice. (It’s understood this is what’s behind fellow low retainer Kirkland & Ellis’ 56% figure, too.) A Weil Gotshal spokesperson said:

We were pleased to be able to offer qualification opportunities for our trainee cohort qualifying in September 2017. Unfortunately, however, some of our trainees were keen to qualify into groups which have taken a number of NQs in recent intakes and we were disappointed not to have been able to offer contracts to every trainee in the groups of their choice.

They added: “We are looking forward to seeing those who have secured NQ positions with the firm flourish in their new roles and we thank those whose are leaving us for their hard work and contribution to the office and wish them the very best for the future.”

However, Legal Cheek has been told from sources within the firm that:

The trainees leaving have chosen to leave because they are unhappy.

This, they said, is at least in part because of what has been described as “low morale”. Weil Gotshal declined to comment on this.

Though there’s maybe not as many of them as the firm had hoped, the Weil Gotshal NQs are set for a lucrative lawyer life. The outfit — which offers approximately 13 training contracts a year — is one of the best paying firms in the City. Its new talent will be raking in a whopping £115,000, a full £30,000 more than its closest magic circle rival. You can see what all the top law firms pay by looking at the Legal Cheek Most List.

The firm performed decently in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. The New York-headquartered player scored As for peer support, partner approachability, perks, and office, plus that all important canteen.

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