The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
With the credit crunch continuing to bite and the price of crude oil breaching the psychologically significant $100 per barrel mark youd be reckless not to be concerned about a potential economic downturn.
So should wannabe trainees be too concerned? During the last recession, Lawyer 2B reported on dramatic cuts on recruitment budgets, sliding retention rates for newly qualified solicitors, training contract deferrals and even shock, horror! some firms choosing to reduce rates of pay for their junior lawyers.
That said, the message from law firms is that if youre looking for a training contract you shouldnt despair. The reason for this is simple. There is typically a time lag of at least four years between a firm offering someone a training contract and qualification. For instance most of you who land a training contract in September 2008 wont receive your practising certificates until 2012! Apart from the London Olympics nobody really knows whats going to happen then. Its therefore pointless for both firms and candidates alike to try to second-guess the state of the world markets that far ahead of time.
Whats more, firms should heed the lessons of the last economic downturn. The hasty slashing of recruitment budgets during 2002-03 proved extremely costly when the good times came round again. The result of course, was the salary wars, which saw earnings for newly qualified solicitors rise to ultimately unsustainable levels.
Hopefully, firms will be less short-sighted if the bad times do eventually return.
If you want to find out more about how an economic downturn might impact graduate recruitment at commercial firms then look out for the February issue of Lawyer 2B, which contains a detailed analysis on this subject. email@example.com