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BCLP increases maintenance grants and vac scheme pay — also scraps grade requirements

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Boosts in response to rising living costs

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has rolled out a range of new benefits for future trainees and vacation scheme students in response to the rising cost of living.

Future rookies studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) or Legal Practice Course (LPC) in London will now receive maintenance support of £20,400 inclusive of a £3,400 loan. Prior to the uplift, TC holders received £10,000.

Those studying in the regions or virtually will receive £18,400 in financial support (again inclusive of a £3,400 loan), up from £8,000. The rises are effective from September 2022.

The firm, which recruits around 34 trainees each year, has also upped vac scheme pay from £450 per week to £750 per week “to more closely align with trainee salaries”.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows trainee pay in London currently sits at £48,000 in year one, rising to £52,000 in year two. Newly qualified associates receive a salary of £95,000.

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Separately, BCLP has followed the likes of Ashurst and DWF in removing grade requirements for those applying for UK training contracts. The firm said grades will still be “requested and reviewed”, but a candidate will not be rejected solely based on not meeting minimum academic criteria.

Segun Osuntokun, UK managing partner said: “Leading one of the largest offices within BCLP it is personally so important to me to ensure that anyone, regardless of background, but who has a passion for the law is offered the opportunity to pursue their dream and ambitions and reach their full potential.”

Partner Tim Smith added:

“These additional financial benefits, together with the removal of academic weighting as a minimum standard for an application to progress, will hopefully encourage those who felt they faced an uphill battle to secure a training contract, or even consider a legal career, to feel that it’s now within reach.”

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15 Comments

LPC

Credit where its due, this removes a lot of the stress of moving location to undertake the GDL/LPC and a big move by BCLP, the only other firm offering similar that I have seen is W+C.

Aspiring Solicitor

Do BCLP future trainees complete the accelerated LPC?

X

Normal length

Michael S

That’s what she said

Impressed

This is a pretty great move from BCLP. As someone soon moving to London for the SQE, £17k is going to be a bit tight for the duration of the course so the extra option of a £3.4k loan would be very welcome.

The uplift in vac scheme salaries is also a welcome move, as the £450 per week I received for two vac schemes was great as I completed my scheme virtually, but wouldn’t have come close to covering my costs for the 3 weeks I spent on each if they had been in person. Higher pay for vac schemes helps to make the profession open to people from less wealthy backgrounds like myself as I would have found it difficult to essentially pay to have been on those schemes with no guarantee of a job at the end of it.

Also impressed

Also the 3.4k loan is written off unless they decide to leave BCLP voluntarily – so highest offering in the City so far 😮

Impressed

imagine what it was like circa 2019 when future trainees had to survive with £7k-10k, doing a TC and moving to London was virtually impossible unless you indulged in debt or had rich parents..

Anonymous

Come on Ashurst and Travers, do the right thing and match. If BCLP can, you can.

Anonymous

Great firm and impressive move far from the stupid NQ salary war between US firms

Anon

Some firms are still giving out a measly £6/7k !!! Absolutely ridiculous

Anonymous

What are magic circle firms paying for maintenance? Is BCLP now offering more?

Jane

The A levels not really mattering is may be not always a good idea. Some people don’t work very hard and others put their all into A levels. A bit unfair then not to let there be credit for the hard work.

Quizzical

Disgrace that this only came now, frankly. Had to suffer a move to London for a year on £7k while studying, forcing me into a shared flat which was great during the pandemic. Typical of this firm – lip service to the market and nothing for those who suffered under previous policies.

Question

Are lpc grades important once you become a trainee looking to qualify or is it just a BS tick box exercise?

Anonymous

Friend of mine got a TC at clydes this cycle and was told just pass them all first time. I’m aware macfarlenes,travers smith and a couple of others want commendations overall so as long as you’ve got that without failing any grade weighted stuff you’re fine

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