Legal work experience opportunities fall by 11%

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By Katie King on

Biggest industry decrease

There are less opportunities to do work experience in law this year than there were last year, according to new research. Among top businesses, “paid work experience places” in law are down by 11% since 2017, from 1,407 to 1,250.

The legal industry’s 11% work placement fall is not the biggest of the sectors included in the research: total work experience offerings in consulting fell by 45%, from 210 to 155, in 2017-18, while IT & telecommunications saw a decrease of 20% (from 686 to 548). However, in real number terms, law’s drop of 157 is the largest.

This data, by The Knowledge Academy, is from “the UK’s 100 most established and successful employers”, including: Apple, Boots, Deloitte, Facebook, Google, Mars, McDonald’s, Microsoft, NHS, Oxfam, Sky and Teach First. The law firms on the list are: Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, CMS, DLA Piper, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright, Slaughter and May and White & Case.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Though seven of the industries covered experienced downturns ranging from 3.3% to 45.2%, the remaining four have enjoyed increases. Engineering & industrial placements are up by 21%, from 1,993 to 2,419, while over in the public sector work experience spots have rocketed by 59% to 1,077.

This research comes just weeks after Legal Cheek revealed a number of barristers and solicitors were, controversially, auctioning off work experience placements in aid of a social mobility charity.

One of these barristers was Blackstone Chambers ace Sir James Eadie QC, who has represented the government in major cases such as: the Article 50/Gina Miller challenge, the heterosexual civil partnerships dispute and the term-time holiday battle.

The bidding on a week’s worth of work experience with Eadie had reached a hefty £300 before the ad disappeared from the auction website. The highest bidder, according to the ad, would have had the opportunity to work alongside the top silk in chambers, read case papers and visit court.

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