Midnight training contract deadline looms as intake numbers shrink

The date for would-be lawyers to submit their training contract applications is imminent, with most applicants facing a deadline of midnight tomorrow.

This year’s applicants are facing a slimmer chance of attaining a training contract than ever. Figures released by the Law Society last year show that the number of training contracts registered in 2011/12 (the latest year for which data is available) was 16 per cent lower than pre-recession figures and barely higher than when records began in 1998/99 (21 May 2013). 

In 2011/12, 4,869 training contracts were registered, compared to 5,441 in 2010/11 and 6,303 in 2006/07. In 1998/9, 4,827 training contracts were registered.

Firms to formally trim their intake include Clifford Chance (4 December 2012) and Allen & Overy (15 August 2013) while Mayer Brown’s London office cut its 2016 intake in order to try and improve its retention rate (25 July 2014). 

But while the number of training contracts has fallen, recent retention rates show that firms are starting to retain more of the trainees they do take on. Spring rates this year painted a positive picture with, the vast majority of firms retaining more than 80 per cent of their intakes.

Four firms, Nabarro (7 Janaury 2014), Olswang (10 January 2014), Trowers & Hamlins (28 January 2014) and Osborne Clarke (19 December 2013) retained 100 per cent of their intakes.

Searching for a training contract? Lawyer 2B’s Training Contract Comparison Tool is a vital resource

Related articles: