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Linklaters and Slaughter and May latest magic circle firms to increase LPC maintenance grants to £10,000

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After one City trainee revealed they’ll be living in an Airbnb because their grant doesn’t cover London rent

Linklaters and Slaughter and May have increased their Legal Practice Course (LPC) maintenance grant by £3,000. A quartet of magic circle outfits now offer five-figure sums, this increase coming weeks after one Legal Cheek reader revealed they’ll be spending their LPC living in an Airbnb because their grant doesn’t cover London rent.

In January, we exclusively reported that Clifford Chance and Freshfields had boosted their LPC grants by 43% to £10,000. This saw the magic circle duo overtake its rivals by £3,000 each. All five magic circle firms cover LPC course fees, too.

Now, Linklaters and Slaughters have followed Clifford Chance and Freshfields’ lead and boosted their grant offerings. Legal Cheek has spoken to Allen & Overy; the firm has declined to comment.

Slaughters tells us this change will be brought in immediately, this leaving students with £10,000 to play with during their accelerated LPC. Future trainees who started their LPC this year will also benefit from the increase. Linklaters’ current LPC cohort will receive the increased grant, too.

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With many City firms offering generous Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) grants too, you might imagine scoring a training contract would see you automatically plunged into the lap of luxury. But, one Legal Cheek reader and £7,000 grant receiver has a very different take on things.

In a comment published on a recent Legal Cheek article, the working-class student told us their grant isn’t enough to pay London rent and they are “fully expecting” to have to live in an Airbnb throughout the course. They added:

“The current system undeniably results in individuals from backgrounds similar to mine to rejecting offers as £7000 to live from in London for 8 months is quite simply impossible. Even with my savings I worry that I’m going to run out of money prior to completing the course, and quite frankly I have no idea what will happen if that occurs. Even at this point I’ve had to consider dropping out, and resultantly lose everything I worked for when attending a shit comprehensive school and university.”

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62 Comments

Anonymous

Allen & Overy have increased to 10k as well

(14)(3)

Anonymous

Source?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Brown usually. For bacon rolls, always ketchup.

(12)(3)

Anonymous

What are you on about?

The joke only works if there was a misspelling of ‘source’ as ‘sauce’.

Now it’s only you who looks like an idiot.

(2)(15)

Anonymous

Clearly a mayo or reggae reggae fan then.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

RACIST!!!

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I am a future trainee at A&O, that’s the source.

(0)(7)

Anonymous

So am I, and I haven’t heard anything, that’s why I was asking for the source.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Are these grants taxable?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

£10k is below the threshold of the Personal Allowance.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I have been working

(0)(2)

Anonymous

You don’t need it then. Give it to the poor.

(4)(16)

Anonymous

Very presumptuous – prick

(5)(4)

Anonymous

Very selfish not to.

(1)(6)

Anonymous

I said I work, I never said I am in a position to support myself for the duration of the LPC

(7)(4)

Anonymous

So selfish. All you, you, you. Think about how much good you could do with that money for just one second please.

Anonymous

No they’re not taxable – so even if you work you will have your full personal allowance to use before paying tax.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

they are not. I’ve personally asked this to the HMRC (via the app, and I have the paper answer to my question).
Student grant are not taxed and they do not contribute to your tax-exemption area.
ie if you have 7k of grant, you still won’t pay taxes if you earn less than 11.500

(6)(0)

Anonymous

grants

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Come on Hogan Lovells!! Time for you to up your fees as well.

(10)(1)

PEPE

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Bih

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Shame lots of the firms don’t offer anything retrospectively to those who self funded and racked up more debt. Those trainee recruits must represent somewhat of a windfall.

(14)(5)

Anonymous

This all seems rather overblown. The student could perhaps consider taking a part-time job while doing the LPC, as many students do, rather than looking to a firm that is already going to pay them almost twice the average national wage in their first year. After all, the LPC and the BPTC aren’t exactly rigorous or time-consuming.

In any event, the notion of expecting to live in an Airbnb quite overlooks the fact that staying in an Airbnb for an extended period is likely to be more expensive than renting…

(11)(17)

Anonymous

The LPCs that the magic circle trainees do are fast track- ie they condense the year long lpc into about 6 months. It is basically impossible to work and some of the firms also stipulate that you shouldn’t work alongside so this isn’t possible.

Further, paying rent and transport in London if you don’t live there and not having parental support makes this very difficult. I’m in this position and its really not easy. On 7k I would have had to struggle immensely or move further out of London to afford it, or take out another bank loan.
For students who have the option to live with parents within a commutable distance of Holborn, or who have wealthy parents to support them during this time- then I agree 7k is sufficient.

But the whole point is for people with neither of these options it’s ridiculously hard and nearly put me off doing it. Especially since the previous year I did the same on the gdl (8k for 9 months in London) though on the gdl it’s possible to work.

(30)(1)

Anonymous

Yeah, agreed – 7-8k is fine for a 6 month fast track/accelerated course subsidy, but not for an entire year. 10k makes it manageable, since you can then just take the 6 months prior to starting and just go abroad travelling with the remainder.

I’m moving to a US firm and despite the firm having virtually double the qualification salaries, the subsidy is in the 7-8k bracket and the TC salary is still in the c.45-50k year 1-2 band.

I’ve finished the fast track LPC now and I did work actually for a bit of it which was challenging. But now am at the end, 6 months is a desperately awkward period for anyone to find anything meaningful in London – I’ve had to send out my CV again and have interviews lined up now over the next couple of weeks. After actually getting a training contract, turning down job offers in my industry on more pay and leaving my job, I didn’t want to be unemployed for 6 months, it’s a huge cost. No doubt, in the short term – the LPC period, the 6 months thereafter and the TC period will be a huge loss/opportunity cost for me.

(0)(0)

IM Trainee

This is important for social mobility – good and lets hope other firms follow suit.

(12)(2)

Anonymous

Don’t forget about trainees in High Street firms in the provinces.

We are paid buttons and the costs of living and travel are very high.

(4)(9)

Anon

Lucky for those who will be living at Mummy and Daddy’s 6 bed in Richmond during the LPC.

An extra £3k to blow on bottomless brunch.

(40)(2)

Anonymous

I knew a guy on my LPC (the 6 month accelerated) who took the cash and stayed at home (in Fulham) then went travelling on the money from the firm in his 6 months before the TC started.

I spent all my money on a Zone 2/3 flat share and tube fare (ok, I could have lived in Zone 6 but I had just moved to London by myself).

Some kind of means test could work well here?

(6)(5)

Anonymous

I can go one better – I knew a girl from London whose parents bought her a flat in Old Street so she could walk to Moorgate LPC, she still took the full grant and also went on holiday with it at the end, nice work if you can get it!

(10)(5)

Big Dolla

Wonder when the US firms will follow.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

The amount of money given for the grant should depend on how much money the candidate already has; a bit like the old university grant system. It isn’t fair for the richest candidates to have an extra £10K when they might not even need it.

(6)(12)

Anonymous

Oh come on. Next you’ll be saying salaries should be means tested as some people are more in need. Firms are paying for your time studying, essentially. You’re all studying whether you’re poor or not. Life isn’t fair but it isn’t your employer’s job to start sorting out inequalities in society through reward.

(39)(2)

Anonymous

Salaries should be means tested.

People with inheritances should be paid less. It’s outrageous that bloke spent his £10k on travelling.

Jeremy Corbyn will also introduce positive discrimination. White Oxbridge candidates should not be paid £80k straight out of uni. Give those TCs to first generation BAME kids.

(40)(42)

Big Dolla

Are you for real?

(14)(2)

Anonymous

He’s so obviously trolling you mug

(4)(4)

Anonymous

I absolutely am not.

Why should someone from a low socio-economic background, with no inheritance, be paid the same as a white Oxbridge candidates?

(2)(8)

Anonymous

You are a fool.

(3)(1)

Legna & Lived

funny communist

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Waiting for Silver Circle firms to increase grants as well. Most do the full year LPC and only pay between 7000-8000 as maintenance.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

You can work on the full time LPC. You have enough time. The fast track LPCs are done in half the time so it’s v hard to work alongside.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Firms don’t allow that. People still do, but it’s technically not allowed.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

So what, they aren’t going to rescind your TC for it

(1)(1)

Anonymous

There’s a possibility that that could happen- albeit pretty unlikely – given that it’s a term in the contract that says we won’t work during the LPC.

(1)(0)

US MONEYLAW

Ok, the pups have got the ball rolling. Now time to see what the big dogs have in store.

(7)(5)

Anonymous

don’t care, i’ll take the extra 40 – 50k pay at NQ over the MC

(1)(1)

Anonymous

If I want the extra pay at NQ I’ll come and get it, and you’ll have worked 600 billable hours more than me whilst you were a trainee for a couple of extra thousand net.

(8)(2)

Cynical Cynthia

>implying that any half-decent performer at a MC can’t get a job with the MoneyLaw crowd a few years in

(18)(1)

Anonymous

What?

He’s implying the exact opposite – that he can go into Biglaw if he wants.

Or do you not know how the arrow meme works?

(4)(11)

Anonymous

I think that he/she replied to the wrong poster. They were replying to the guy talking about the 40/50k difference.

(0)(0)

Big Dolla

Doubt the US firms will outdo the MC firms on grants. There’s very little incentive to.

Look at trainee salaries – roughly in line with MC. The main reason for higher NQ salaries is adherence to the Cravath scale.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Jeremy Corbyn will make the long hours culture of Biglaw illegal.

He will raise the minimum wage and make zero hours contracts illegal.

It will be epic!

(6)(8)

Anonymous

I cant wait

(0)(1)

Slaughters NQ with a rageboner

Am I the only one that read £100,000 in the title and thought that we would get paid £100,000 at qualifications like our counterparts at US law firms!?!?!?!!?

(26)(0)

Big Dolla

Hahahahahahaha

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Just wait until Jeremy Corbyn nationalised pension funds – by swapping the funds for government bonds, like Poland did.

The partners at these law firms will explode.

Can’t wait!

(4)(2)

American firm LPC'er

I’m studying the fast -track LPC on an £8k grant – this is enough to live off (with some budgeting). If it’s not and you want to be able to afford more then:

– increase your overdraft
– (if your time isn’t taken up by doing the fast-track) get a part-time, perhaps even temp zero-hours job
– get a long-term 0% interest credit card

Alternative bridging finance aside some of these rises in grants smacks of some future trainees unrealistically wanting to keep a luxurious lifestyle up during the LPC, at the firm’s expense. Your not a trainee yet, your a student, and these firms are investing in your future before even getting any shorter term results with the risk of you failing your exams.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

Christ, if this is the standard of US firms’ future trainees no wonder they poach heavily from MC firms at NQ – 2/3 PQE.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

You clearly misread all the above comments about not being able to get a job on the Fast Track LPC due to it being a term of the contract…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The investment is not just given in a vacuum. It’s also probably calculated that we will pay back that and our salary more than once during the training contract when we work 60 hour weeks for the firm.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

*You’re exams

(2)(2)

Comments are closed.

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