Training contract numbers return to pre-financial crash levels for first time

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Annual rookie registrations jump by over 500 to 6,344

The number of training contracts registered across England and Wales has returned to levels not seen since before the 2008 global financial crisis, new stats reveal.

According to the Law Society’s latest annual statistics report, the number of training contracts reached 6,344 in 2018-19 — a sizeable 9.2% uptick from 5,811 in 2017-18. In 2008, training contract numbers went from a pre-crash high of 6,303 to just 4,784 the following year.

Though wannabe lawyers will no doubt welcome these new figures, the impact that COVID-19 will have on training contract numbers remains to be seen.

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Elsewhere, the report highlights that London was home to nearly half (48.7%) of all training contracts in 2018-19, with the City accounting for 30% of these.

The report also shows an increase in students enrolling onto first degree law courses, up 4.1% from 24,575 to 25,575. Overall, the number of students finishing with first class degrees last year rose 4.2% to 2,793.

Meanwhile, women are shown to still outperform their male counterparts. Of the 16,499 law students that graduated last year, 18.2% (1,974) of women left with a first class degree, compared to just 14.5% of men (818). Similarly, women bagged 65.4% (4,148) of training contracts in 2018-19, while men only managed 34.6% (2,196).

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