Students whose Halliwells training contracts were cancelled after the firm went into administration have been offered a potential lifeline by Burges Salmon.
The Bristol firm hopes that every law firm in the country will sign up to a project that will attempt to match trainees with firms located in a region where they are able to work.
The firm has launched a portal on its website for trainees to submit their CVs and offer letters, which will then be sent on to other firms taking part in the scheme.
Burges Salmon senior partner Stephen McNulty has already contacted at least five top 50 firms to drum up support for the scheme, which went live today (2 August). He said it would be “a litmus test for the decency of the profession”.
McNulty pledged that his firm would take on at least one of the 51 students left without training contracts after Halliwells went into administration last month.
“Halliwells won’t have offered contracts to people they didn’t think were good enough,” added McNulty. “It’s a question of matching them to the right firm.”
One trainee who had been set to join Halliwells said: “What Burges Salmon’s proposing for us would really be a lifeline to all the trainees who’ve forked out thousands of pounds to train and have been left jobless.”
The first wave of CVs sent to firms signing up to the scheme will be from those offered contracts beginning this September. There will be further waves for the prospective January and June 2011 intakes.