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Herbert Smith Freehills offers £10,000 London GDL maintenance grant

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£9,000 in the regions

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is offering its future London trainees £10,000 in financial support during the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

The sum equates to an uplift by a quarter (25%) on the global firm’s previous offering of £8,000. The rise is effective from autumn 2019 and will apply to all current offer holders. This means the UK-headquartered megafirm now matches the £10,000 grant it awards its Legal Practice Course (LPC) students.

The firm confirmed those studying outside of London will also benefit from a 29% boost — from £7,000 to £9,000.

HSF’s newest recruits complete the GDL — the conversion course non-law grads must complete to train as a lawyer — at BPP Law School in Waterloo. The firm, which offers 60 training contracts each year, also fully funds GDL course fees.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Four out of five of the magic circle have increased GDL maintenance grants to £10,000 in recent months. Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Slaughter and May and Linklaters all award their future trainees the coveted five-figure sum. Allen & Overy offers its GDL’ers £9,000.

Turning to the silver circle, which HSF is part of, the only other outfit to award its new joiners £10,000 is Macfarlanes. The firm confirmed a 43% increase in April.

Our Firms Most List shows GDL grants can vary by as much as £4,500 to £12,850 across the leading law firms in the UK.

Today’s news comes amid rising student living costs in London. Although costs will vary depending on lifestyle, an official university guide recently estimated the maximum amount needed for a course lasting nine months or more in London would be £11,385.

The GDL is being phased out by 2021 in favour of a new two-part solicitor super-exam, the SQE.

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