City firms use short-term NQ contracts to inflate retention rates

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  • Seems worrying when you're due to train at one of the firms stated...feel sick in my stomach that I've made the wrong choice :(

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  • Does anyone know if this happens at other US firms not specifically named in the article? If so, which ones... ?
    (Concerned future trainee going to a US firm).

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  • Why do people find this so very surprising? I qualified in 1993 and was offered a fixed-term contract as my firm's largest client had just gone into administration. It made me focus on whether I really wanted to stay with the firm I trained at. 14 or so months after qualifying, I moved into a City firm specialising in an area which I practise today as a partner.

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  • Ask the UK top 50 how many short term contracts they offered last year.

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  • The Training Contract system is just awful. This is the tip of the iceberg.

    For example, I trained at one of the top 3 Nottingham law firms and it was a total shambles. A colleague only got an NQ job by sleeping with one of the partners. She then promptly told a girl she didn't like that she wouldn't get an NQ job (she promptly found another job before the end of her TC). Likewise another trainee accidentally let slip that she didn't have to interview because her Dad was an important client and had been guaranteed an NQ job before she had even visited the firm. It's no surprise that almost all the trainees (other than the one sleeping with the partner) had fled the firm six months after qualification.

    It puts offering a few NQ jobs into perspective!

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  • I am a coal mining apprentice, my mine has just been closed at the end of my apprenticeship. I watch the media and government spokespeople and they tell me that market forces have accounted for my job. I shouldn't grumble i should get on my bike and either go to Poland (where i understand there are mines) or think myself lucky that i live in a fair and democratic market econony where most are winners and some are not.

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  • In a country where there are far too many lawyers for market demand I'm surprised firms even offer training contracts. This is simply commercial forces at work. Firms can only afford to keep the best - the also rans might be lucky and get offered contracts if their firm is particularly busy and they should look upon that as real world experience they wouldn't have otherwise had.

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  • Anyone who thinks that they are guaranteed an NQ job at the end of their training contract based on figures released 2-3 years before they will be qualifying is rather naive.
    And who's to say you'll want to stay anyway.

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  • 'This is something the SRA needs to look into...'

    Why would they? The SRA have never looked into anything to do with Trainees/NQs employment or retention in the past, so they're not going to suddenly start now...

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