A student I met at a law fair recently told me that although he thought Lawyer 2B is an awesome magazine he found the Autumn issue a little bit depressing. I wish I could tell him things are on the up but unfortunately conditions in the legal market, and indeed the wider economy, has continued to deteriorate.
The number of redundancies in the UKs top 200 has now breached the psychologically significant 1,000 mark and is expected to rise much further. Whats more, as we report today New York giant Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft is not offering any jobs to the trainees who are due to qualify into its London office next March and is scaling back its graduate recruitment programme (see story).
Meanwhile, two relatively large law firms have fallen into severe financial difficulty. The first, London-based Saunders Solicitors, which had 10 partners and a turnover of 2.5m has been wound up by administrators BDO Stoy Hayward. The second being Kent firm Buss Murton, which has entered into a company voluntary arrangement.
More worrying, however, is the number of students who are living in blissful ignorance of the turmoil thats gripping the City and the impact thats going to have on their chances of securing a training contract.
I applied for my training contract during the 1990s recession and take it from me it was no walk in the park. I didnt expect to be handed a training contract offer on a plate I really had to work for it.
Even though law firms, with the exception of Cadwalader are adamant that they arent planning on chopping the number of trainees they plan to hire its only natural that their selection procedures are going to become more rigorous than ever before.
So if youve been burying your head in the sand hoping the economy will bounce back over night it really is time for you to take a reality check. You need to start planning your future career as soon as possible or risk having no option but to join the dole queue when you graduate.
Sorry to harp on about it but if I dont tell you how it really is nobody else will. So once the Christmas festivities are out of the way make sure your top new years resolution are your future careers and get to work on those dreaded vacation scheme applications. Only then will you be sure of a prosperous 2009.