Weil joins firms upping future trainee maintenance grants to £20k

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60% increase

Weil Gotshal & Manges has joined the growing number of elite law firms ramping up financial support for future trainees.

The New York headquartered outfit, which recruits around 15 trainees each year, confirmed its annual maintenance grant has increased from £12,500 to £20,000 — a whopping uplift of 60%.

This applies to TC holders undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) as well as the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) which the firm will transition to from 2024. Weil sends its future rookies to The University of Law.

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A raft of firms have announced rises in recent months, with White & Case and Herbert Smith Freehills moving to £17k, and US duo Sidley Austin and Willkie Farr & Gallagher increasing to £13k and £12.5k, respectively. Freshfields offers £20k in financial support for SQE students following an uplift last month, while Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner dishes out a new and improved £20,400 inclusive of a £3,400 loan.

Grants aside, The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows Weil’s trainees are amongst some of the best paid in the City, with a year one salary of £60k, rising to £65k in year two. They earn an eye-watering £160k upon qualification.

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Not bad! The £5k grant I got back in 2017 didn’t last me all that long…



Weil just love throwing the mula lol



Do they do the full 12 month LPC?

If not, then there is definitely no excuse for the Consortium firms etc. to continue on 12.5k given the sharp rise in living costs. This is the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk when it comes to promoting social mobility in the legal profession.


Weil Trainee

Yes it’s the 12 month LPC



The increase in the grant has gone up by far more than loving costs. I did the full LPC in 2017-2018 and got £8k, which at the time was around the most you could hope for.


Not the same thing

Can people not do simple math.

The consortium firms pay 12.5 for 7 months. This is 20k for 12 months.

I’ll let you work out the rest.

People need to stop confusing the different grants when they’re clearly just ignorant.


It is not that hard to get things right

It is “simple maths” not “simple math”. US firm or not, we speak the Queen’s English in this country. If one of my trainees referred to “math”, or, even worse, a “check” instead of a “cheque” then that is pretty much a red card offence. And that is “offence” with a “c”. This matters TikTokkers.


The Queen

Get a life and chill



Read my comment more carefully lmao


Struggling MC trainee

12.5k might have sufficed last year, but given the state of the London rental market this year (something that nobody in the news seems to be covering) I really don’t see how we are supposed to get by without working.

Either firms not matching aren’t being totally honest when they claim that the grant is intended to sustain us for a year, or they are completely out of touch with their future cohort.



Law firms bragging about diversity but only one or two Northerners in MC firm intakes.

They don’t care about diversity or equality, just Timothys and Theodoras.



Re the Consortium 12.5k grant – it absolutely is possible to live off of for 7 months – it averages out to around 1800 a month

You can get places under 1000 a month if you know where to look – yes we can’t afford Marylebone or Kensington but there are places with good commuting into Holborn (north of the Piccadilly line for example) easily within that budget

Agree that 10/12k would be more challenging for a longer LPC/SQE course


London local innit

“If you know where to look” – i.e the majority of London! The mindset of university of London students and recent graduates moving to London always amuses me. They insist on living in zone 1 and 2 when they can’t really afford it and are shocked when they’re coughing up half their income…



Even if you were to rent a room in zone 3, that is within a 30-40min commute of central London, you would still be stretched with what firms are offering. With the current market, the idea that any landlord is willing to accept sub 12 month tenancies is quite laughable. So firms are providing a grant that needs to last from September to June – assuming students will work over the summer to pay the rest of their rent.

650/700pcm not inc. bills is now the standard, even for very unremarkable zone 2/3 areas. If you want to live in a zone 2 area that would have been considered untouchable 20 years ago, like finsbury park/stockwell/stratford, you can expect anything between 750-950pcm.

I assume Law firms have gotten away with pretending one thousand pounds a month is enough to live on largely because their previous intakes have been dominated by people with access to the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Even the Student Finance England london maintenance loan of 11k for undergrads has always been insufficient for poorer students who don’t have family support.

It is one thing to expect (perhaps fairly) that students will work over the year, because the grants cover little more than rent+bills. But, it is also fair to expect firms to be honest about that reality.



Regarding your point, the Consortium that does the Accelerated LPC (I know some firms do the Fast-Track LPC but am unsure of the details on that) – you start your TC within a month of finishing your LPC which then means you are on around 3k per month after tax



Good luck finding a flat in London in this climate. Competition is intense with people moving back to London and undersupply of housing. Most shares on flat share sites are unsafe or inappropriate for LPC students (DSS, dungeon areas with high crime rates) but firms are either unaware of this or choose to ignore it. Throwing money at the problem doesn’t work either – as someone else said landlords want 12 month tenancies, proof of earnings etc. Why would they choose a “student” (think about this lable) with a grant that can’t even cover 12 months + bills. They will always choose a professional and in flat shares the flatmates will choose who they want! But muh the City is sO diVerSe aNd OPen to all?



Silver circle need to sort themselves out. BCLP offering 20k and the likes of Ashurst offering only 10k (plus a repayable 2k loan), come on…



Baker mckenzie needs to increase.. they cancelled the gdl requirement and maintenance grant, and only offer 10k for the SQE…


more context

Firms should decide what level of funding per month is an acceptable one for its future trainees to survive on and they should provide that. Anything else is an abdication of their duty and their own claim to ‘fully support future trainees’

GDL / SQE students need between 9 and 12 months of support so the above point is mute for a significant proportion of those who are stuck with the 10/12k grants.


Future Trainee

My US firm hasnt said a word about upping our grant, do you think its likely they will follow suit?



The benefits are good but the excruciating hours and abysmal culture have ruined many juniors/mid-level. Take note, freshers.



What is the retention?


Just curious

Would you get taxed on this?


imminent indigent

Getting £12.5k here from a US firm. Was thrilled to find out we were getting it, and then I opened Spareroom and saw the reality. A lot has changed in the last five years.


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